The Political Economy of Reforms A Case Study of Pakistan

Lectures in Development Economics No. 10
Publication Year : 1999

The broad literature on structural adjustment and economic policy reforms often falls into the habit of making wholesale judgements of the sort: “adjustment does or does not work because … ” And, not surprisingly, the vast majority of this writing tends to view adjustment negatively. Not only are we thus subjected to holistic assessments of structural adjustment, we are also subjected to universalistic explana tions. · These criticisms encompass the whole spectrum of ideological predilections ranging from the left, which considers neo-liberal policies underpinning these reforms as pure anathema, to the libertarians, who consider any form of government intervention as repugnant to individual freedom. In addition. there are non-ideological critics too. Ayittey (1994), for example, denounces the World Bank for its support of adjustment programmes which he claims do not · take account of political and social realities in Africa, and embody a host of other evils.