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Pillars of ProsperityThe Political Economics of Development Clusters$
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Timothy Besley and Torsten Persson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152684

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152684.001.0001

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Political Reform

Political Reform

(p.259) Chapter 7 Political Reform
Pillars of Prosperity

Timothy Besley

Torsten Persson

Princeton University Press

This chapter takes some steps toward integrating endogenous political reform into the core model. A general finding is that forces that lead to political stability generally reduce the motives of ruling groups to undertake political reforms toward greater cohesiveness. It sketches some micropolitical foundations for the main macropolitical parameters in the core model, political cohesiveness, and (peaceful) political turnover, and tried to relate them to real-world tangible political institutional rules and regulations. As in the case of tax compliance in Chapter 2, it notes that cohesiveness in political life may reflect not only formal institutions, but also informal rules of behavior, trust, and social norms. This is in line with studies that focus on the role of social capital. The chapter also considers political reform in a predatory state and gives reasons for resistance toward reforms that promote common-interest politics. This discussion reinforces the observation that reform may be particularly problematic in such states.

Keywords:   political reform, political stability, micropolitics, political violence, trust, governance

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