Reach, Range, Reason
Global Development Network series
Edited by José María Fanelli and Lyn Squire
José María Fanelli and Lyn Squire Imagine that you have recently assumed the position in your government which has full responsibility for the implementation of your country’s ambitious program of reform. Imagine further that at your very first press conference you are asked to list the three most crucial points that must be kept in mind when managing reform. What would you say? This is not an easy question to handle at any time, and it is especially awkward at an initial press conference and when posed in such a precise form. On the other hand, we have all probably pondered at least some aspects of this question and can draw on experience of one kind or another to fashion a reply. Thus, the economists among us may well stress the importance of macroeconomic stability as their first and foremost point, followed by liberalization of key markets including trade and then by more complex reforms, including privatization, to improve incentives in key executing agencies. The economist, therefore, may worry about the key elements of policy and also about their appropriate sequencing. Of course, for every economist there may well be a different set of policies and a different sequence, but the focus will be very much on measures. A political scientist confronted by the same question will take a different route. He may well give pride of place to forging a consensus within society prior to reform. His second point may be the importance of managing the distribution of...