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Audacious reforms : institutional invention and democracy in Latin America / Merilee S. Grindle.

By: Grindle, Merilee Serrill.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000Description: xiv, 269 p. ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780801864216 (pbk.); 0801864216 (pbk. : alk. paper); 0801864208 (hardcover : alk. paper).Subject(s): Local elections -- Latin America -- Case studies | Decentralization in government -- Latin America -- Case studies | Central-local government relations -- Latin America -- Case studies | Democracy -- Latin America -- Case studies | Political participation -- Latin America -- Case studiesDDC classification: 320.98 GRI
Contents:
1. Audacious reforms : democratizing Latin America -- 2. Explaining the unexpected -- 3. Institutional invention in Venezuela : legitimizing the system -- 4. New rules of the game : consequences of change in Venezuela -- 5. Political engineering in Bolivia : the law for popular participation -- 6. A new conundrum : national-local politics in Bolivia -- 7. Pacting institutional change in Argentina -- 8. Waiting for Godot? constitutional change in Argentine practice -- 9. Democratizing reforms : origins and consequences.
Summary: Audacious Reforms examines the creation of new political institutions in three Latin American countries: direct elections for governors and mayors in Venezuela, radical municipalization in Bolivia, and direct election of the mayor of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Diverging from the usual incremental processes of political change, these cases marked a significant departure from traditional centralized governments. Such "audacious reforms," explains Merilee S. Grindle, reinvent the ways in which public problems are manifested and resolved, the ways in which political actors calculate the costs and benefits of their activities, and the ways in which social groups relate to the political process. Grindle considers three central questions: Why would rational politicians choose to give up power? What accounts for the selection of some institutions rather than others? And how does the introduction of new institutions alter the nature of political actions? The case studies of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Argentina demonstrate that institutional invention must be understood from theoretical perspectives that stretch beyond immediate concerns about electoral gains and political support building. Broader theoretical perspectives on the definition of nation and state, the nature of political contests, the legitimacy of political systems, and the role of elites all must be considered. While past conflicts are not erased by reforms, in the new order there is often greater potential for more responsible, accountable, and democratic government.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book Book Indian Institute for Human Settlements, New Delhi
320.98 GRI 012092 (Browse shelf) Available 012092

Includes bibliographical references (p. [245]-262) and index.

1. Audacious reforms : democratizing Latin America -- 2. Explaining the unexpected -- 3. Institutional invention in Venezuela : legitimizing the system -- 4. New rules of the game : consequences of change in Venezuela -- 5. Political engineering in Bolivia : the law for popular participation -- 6. A new conundrum : national-local politics in Bolivia -- 7. Pacting institutional change in Argentina -- 8. Waiting for Godot? constitutional change in Argentine practice -- 9. Democratizing reforms : origins and consequences.

Audacious Reforms examines the creation of new political institutions in three Latin American countries: direct elections for governors and mayors in Venezuela, radical municipalization in Bolivia, and direct election of the mayor of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Diverging from the usual incremental processes of political change, these cases marked a significant departure from traditional centralized governments. Such "audacious reforms," explains Merilee S. Grindle, reinvent the ways in which public problems are manifested and resolved, the ways in which political actors calculate the costs and benefits of their activities, and the ways in which social groups relate to the political process.

Grindle considers three central questions: Why would rational politicians choose to give up power? What accounts for the selection of some institutions rather than others? And how does the introduction of new institutions alter the nature of political actions? The case studies of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Argentina demonstrate that institutional invention must be understood from theoretical perspectives that stretch beyond immediate concerns about electoral gains and political support building. Broader theoretical perspectives on the definition of nation and state, the nature of political contests, the legitimacy of political systems, and the role of elites all must be considered. While past conflicts are not erased by reforms, in the new order there is often greater potential for more responsible, accountable, and democratic government.

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