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Economic Reforms in New Democracies

Bresser-Pereira, Przeworski and Maravall

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

1993 capa economic reforms in new democracies

Translated to Spanish (Madri: Alianza Editorial, 1995) and to Portuguese (São Paulo: Nobel, 1996).

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Review by Riordan Roett

Transitions to democracy from authoritarian political systems have often occurred at times of economic crisis. The reforms required to transform the economic systems often cause severe material hardships for vast sectors of the population. Hence, new democracies forming under such circumstances confront a formidable challenge: to consolidate the nascent political institutions under conditions of economic hardship. To identify the reform strategies that lead to resumed growth and strengthen democracy, the authors assess the experiences of economic reforms in Southern Europe, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. They argue that economic reforms must be explicitly oriented toward a resumption of growth, that they must protect the welfare of those hardest hit by reforms, and that they must make full use of representative institutions. A new democracy, they argue, must offer politically important groups incentives to process their demands within lhe representative institutional framework otherwise support for the democratic system will be tenuous. (Cover Text)


1. Economic reforms and economic growth: efficiency and politics in Latin America
Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira

Neo-liberal or pragmatic approach? The Washington approach.
The fiscal-crisis, or pragmatic, approach .
The fiscal crisis in Latin America.
Country studies.
The politics of economic reform in Latin America.

2. Politics and policy: economic reforms in Southern Europe
José María Maravall

Economic development, crisis, and conflict: the background to political transitions.
The first stage of democracy: the primacy of politics.
The second stage of democracy: the launching of economic and social reforms.
The effects of reforms: the balance between economic efficiency and social fairness.
The path of reforms: dilemmas, decisions, and implementation.

3. Economic reforms, public opinion, and political institutions: Poland in the Eastern European perspective
Adam Przeworski

Introduction. Background: the choice of strategies.
Economic effects of reforms.
The dynamics of public opinion .
Economic reforms and democratic institutions