Audacious reforms: institutional invention and democracy in by Merilee S. Grindle

By Merilee S. Grindle

Audacious Reforms examines the construction of latest political associations in 3 Latin American nations: 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 standard incremental procedures of political swap, those circumstances marked an important departure from conventional centralized governments. Such "audacious reforms," explains Merilee S. Grindle, reinvent the ways that public difficulties are manifested and resolved, the ways that political actors calculate the prices and merits in their actions, and the ways that social teams relate to the political process.Grindle considers 3 principal questions: Why might rational politicians decide to hand over energy? What debts for the choice of a few associations instead of others? and the way does the advent of recent associations adjust the character of political activities? The case experiences of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Argentina display that institutional invention needs to be understood from theoretical views that extend past fast issues approximately electoral profits and political help construction. Broader theoretical views at the definition of country and nation, the character of political contests, the legitimacy of political structures, and the function of elites all has to be thought of. whereas earlier conflicts are usually not erased by means of reforms, within the new order there's frequently higher strength for extra liable, in charge, and democratic executive.

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The common dynamics that emerged in the case studies—changes that were (a) led by chief executives concerned about system legitimacy, (b) significantly influenced by the ideas of change teams closely linked to the executive branch of government, and (c) introducing new political incentives and political actors—are relevant for the hypotheses introduced in chapter 2. There, I outline alternative hypotheses to respond to the questions posed about motivations, choice, and consequences. These hypotheses are derived from two major explanatory traditions in political science, one that draws on economics for insights and one that draws on sociology.

This approach, then, presents a hypothesis that, given institutional change, political activity can be understood on the basis of normal expectations about individual preferences, the constraints faced by individuals in particular institutional contexts, and the strategies that they select rationally (given the information they possess about their options) to pursue their preferences. An alternative way of understanding the consequences of institutional creation from the perspective of economic analysis can be derived from the transaction-costs concerns of the new institutionalism.

At the same time, however, it tends to produce rich 28 A U D A C I O U S R E F O R M S Why Would Rational Politicians Choose to Give Up Power? Hypotheses about the motivations of politicians: Rational Choice • Politicians choose to cede power in order to achieve short-term electoral advantage. • Politicians choose to cede power in order to maximize their power in the future. Comparative Institutionalism • In choosing to cede power, politicians reflect the pressures for change exerted by historically situated groups that seek to enhance their access to power through institutional change.

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