Challenging the State

Crisis and Innovation in Latin America and Africa

Merilee S. Grindle,

Challenging the State: Crisis and Innovation in Latin America and Africa
 
 
The 1980s and 1990s posed great challenges to governments in Latin America and Africa. Deep economic crises and significantly heightened pressure for political reform severely taxed their capacity to manage economic and political tasks. These crises pointed to an intense need to reform the state and redefine its relationship to the market and civic society. This book examines the paradox of states that have been weakened by crisis just as their capacity to encourage economic development and provide for effective governance most needs to be strengthened. Case studies of Mexico and Kenya allow the author to analyse the opportunities available for political leadership in moments of crisis, and the constraints on action provided by leadership goals and existing political and economic structures. She argues that while leaders and political structures are often part of the problem, they can also be part of the solution in building more efficient, effective, and responsive states.


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