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Reinventing Leviathan: The Politics of Administrative Reform in Developing Countries

Ben Ross Schneider and Blanca Heredia, editors
Reinventing Leviathan: The Politics of Administrative Reform in Developing Countries
ISBN: 978-1-57454-101-4
ISBN: 978-1-57454-102-1
2003/319 pages
Distributed for the North-South Center Press

"Ben Ross Schneider and Blanca Heredia's edited volume and excellent introduction have gone straight to the heart of the matter. There are far too few analytic explorations of the inner workings and political economy of administrative reforms in Latin America, the so-called second wave of reforms."—Judith Tender, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Scholars and development practitioners agree that developing countries urgently need cohesive administrative reforms to consolidate new market economies, promote sustainable development, and improve social welfare. Reinventing Leviathan provides extensive comparative research on the political processes that facilitate or block efforts designed to improve administrative performance.

Studies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, Mexico, and Thailand highlight distinctive patterns of reform, tracing the process from the prereform position of the bureaucracy to the design of reform packages and the contentious politics of implementation. The authors use a common framework to assess the relative importance of political institutions, international influences, social groups, and reform strategies. They relate their core findings both to practical policy debates and to broader theoretical discussions in the social sciences.


Ben Ross Schneider is associate professor of political science at Northwestern University. His publications include Business and the State in Developing Countries and Politics within the State: Elite Bureaucrats and Industrial Policy in Authoritarian Brazil. Blanca Heredia is academic director at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico City.


  • The Politiccal Economy of Administrative Reform in Developing Countries—the Editors.
  • The Politics of Administrative Reform in Menem's Argentina: The Illusion of Isolation—J. Rinne.
  • The Politics of Administrative Reform in Post-Communist Hungary—B. Nunberg.
  • The 1995 Public Management Reform in Brazil: Reflections of a Reformer—L.C. Bresser-Pereira.
  • From the Disarticulation of the State to the Modernization of Public Management in Chile: Administrative Reform Without a State Project—M. Garretón and G. Cáceres.
  • Stalled Administrative Reforms of the Mexican State—D. Arellano Gault and J.P. Guerrero Amparán.
  • Principals of the Thai State—D.Unger.
  • When Institutions Matter: A Comparison of the Politics of Administrative, Social Security, and Tax Reforms in Brazil—M.A. Melo.
  • Reforms in the Administration of Justice in Latin America: Overview and Emerging Trends—J.E. Mahon, Jr..
  • The Comparative Politics of Administrative Reform: Some Implications for Theory and Policy—R. Kaufman.