Liberalization and Democratization in the Context of a Weak State and a Weaker Civil Society

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Memorando ao Diálogo Inter-Americano após a conferência "Economic Liberalization and Democratic Consolidation", patrocinada pelo Conselho de Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais, pelo Centro Europeu para o Estudo da Democratização e pelo Diálogo Inter-Americano, University of Bologna-Forlí, Forlí, abril 2-4, 1992. São Paulo: Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Departamento de Economia, Texto para Discussão no. 17, agosto 1992.

Abstract. A weak state, financially bankrupted and politically deprived of support from civil society, as it is common in Latin America and Eastern Europe, is unable to regulate markets and is ill-suited to guarantee market-oriented reforms, just as much as a weak civil society is inconsistent with representative democracy. Liberalization of the economy and the consolidation of democracy are only possible where the state and the civil society are strong. The strength of the state depends on its political legitimacy, on its fiscal soundness, and on the support that both the state and the government derive from civil society.

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