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Introduction: The theory of institutional innovation – an overview

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction of the book discusses the state of the art of the theory of institutional innovation and discusses the main theme of the book in the following terms: because there are good reasons to promote innovation but also to stick with a democratic core of norms without which democracy itself may be endangered, the key question is: how can we learn to separate the positive from the negative elements of institutional innovation?

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The two sides of institutional innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction defines political/democratic innovation as the capacity of government to express political will and civil society inputs in several formats. Usually, these inputs are linked to the introduction and/or implementation of public policies, through which civil society and the state interact in order to democratize the state itself. It based on this definition that different experiences of innovation will be analysed.

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Introduction

Australia and the OECD

Aynsley Kellow and Peter Carroll

The broad aim of the first chapter is to provide an overview of the OECD in the world of international organisations as it adapts to the frequent change that characterises international relations and global policy regimes. It describes the several and sometimes conflicting, Australian views of the organisation, emphasising its varying value in differing policy areas. The next section of the chapter provides a broad description of the organisation’s aims, organisational structure and key decision processes for the reader with little or no prior knowledge of the organisation. The final section indicates the content of each of the chapters in the book. Key words: role; adaptation; perceptions; organisational structure