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Democracy and Public Management ReformBuilding the Republican State$
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Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199261180.001.0001

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The Democratic Constraint

The Democratic Constraint

(p.267) 22 The Democratic Constraint
Democracy and Public Management Reform

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Oxford University Press

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

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