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When Democracies Deliver

When Democracies Deliver
Governance Reform in Latin America

$105.00 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108472272

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Why do governance reforms in developing democracies so often fail, and when might they succeed? When Democracies Deliver offers a dynamic framework for assessing the effectiveness and durability of policy change. Drawing on detailed analyses of public sector reforms in Brazil and Argentina, this book challenges conventional wisdom to reveal that incremental changes sequenced over time prove more effective in promoting accountability, increasing transparency, and strengthening institutions than comprehensive overhauls pushed through by political will. Developing an innovative theory that integrates cognitive-psychological insights about decision making with research on institutional change, Katherine Bersch shows how political and organizational factors can shape reform strategies and information processing. Through extensive interviews and field research, Bersch traces how two competing strategies have determined the different trajectories of institutions responsible for government contracting in health care and transportation. When Democracies Deliver offers a fresh insight on the perils of powering and the benefits of gradual reform.

    • Applies cognitive-psychological insights about decision-making to governance reform
    • Presents detailed case studies of public sector reform
    • Explains both why certain reform strategies succeed and how political conditions influence the adoption of successful strategies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Public sector reform in emerging democracies is much demanded, but little understood. This wonderful book convincingly argues that effective and lasting improvements in governance are achieved not by swift, wholesale reform, as commonly believed, but by incremental reforms focused on solving specific problems. This book will change the way we think about bureaucratic reform.' Frances Hagopian, Harvard University

    'When Democracies Deliver takes a fresh look at state capacity-building in Latin America, and lays out the conditions under which it has happened successfully. It is relevant both to specialists in the region and to comparativists interested in general problems of political development.' Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108472272
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the varied advances in quality of governance
    2. The merits of problem solving over powering
    3. An explanation of reform type
    4. Transportation in Argentina: powering (re-)creates crisis
    5. Transportation in Brazil: powering curtailed, problem solving inches forward
    6. Health in Argentina: impeded powering fosters problem solving
    7. Health in Brazil: problem-solving success
    8. Theoretical conclusions and comparative perspectives.

  • Author

    Katherine Bersch, Davidson College, North Carolina
    Katherine Bersch is Assistant Professor of political science at Davidson College. Her research focuses on democratic quality in developing countries, especially governance reform and state capacity in Latin America. Among her publications are articles in Comparative Politics, Governance, Information Polity, and the European Journal of Development Research.

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