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With evidence drawn from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Great Britain, and Hungary, Re-Forming the State examines the processes leading to, and the political effects of, market reform experiments. Hector E. Schamis focuses on the patterns of collective action and distributional coalition building that drive privatization, and on the institutional transformations associated with these programs.
The author's argument challenges established approaches in the discipline of economics and in the fields of comparative and international political economy. Re-Forming the State highlights how the reduction of state assets is accompanied by the enhancement of property rights enforcement, the reorganization of revenue collection, and the centralization of administrative and political resources. Thus, Schamis shows that marketization is a state building project, and spells out how the new forms of the state are heavily influenced by the intererest groups that organize to support, and benefit from, those reforms.
"The story Schamis tells of privatisation in these cases debunks some of the most familiar elements of the fable of liberalisation---most prominently, the notion that liberalisation is promoted by technocrats who are autonomous from special interests, and the idea that the result is a salubrious downsizing of the state . . . This book will undoubtedly the cited as a key contribution to that literature."
—Sarah Babb, Boston College
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