Chapter

The Democratic Constraint

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

in Democracy and Public Management Reform

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780199261185
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601507 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199261180.003.0023
 The Democratic Constraint

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Because public management reform involves more autonomy and more accountability, it maybe successful only in democracies. On the other hand, there is not a trade-off between efficiency and democracy. Instrumental rationality and the consequent economic criterion are obviously important in capitalist societies, but, in democracies, there is a prior and more important criterion: the democratic constraint. Economists often use the word ‘constraint’ to mean the limitations that policy-makers face. They speak of an efficiency constraint. Another as important, if not more important, constraint faced by policy-makers is the democratic constraint: they cannot and should not ignore the voters’ will. And we should not forget the morality constraint. In political life, this is a central constraint.

Keywords: accountability; democracy; democratic constraint; efficiency constraint; horizontal accountability; morality constraint; vertical accountability

Chapter.  3967 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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