This dissertation grows out of a critical assessment of mainstream literature on the political economy of reforms. The author has questioned the logic of the influential argument that authoritarian or single party regimes are more successful in achieving rapid shifts in economic strategy, and successful economic restructuring because they are able to insulate technocratic policy-makers from the popular sectors which bear the greatest losses in the short-term from policies like privatization, reductions in subsidies and reduced expenditures on social welfare. The research asserts that authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian regimes, which did not have to answer to public opinion in bending to international pressures, were most willing to adopt export-oriented policies, and became the greatest beneficiaries of international financial support that helped ensure success during the transition period. As the trend toward democratization proceeds, it is no longer realistic to advance models of economic restructuring that set aside pressing requirements to build political consensus and popular support for economic reforms. It is in this context the current study looks at India's experience as a democracy, with a prolonged trajectory of economic reforms reaching back to the late 1960s, as a critical case for assessing the impact of international linkages. It explores the historical relationship between the Government of India (GOI) and its international linkages as a successful model for the ways in which a developing country can learn to work with and through multilateral organizations to promote economic and political development while sustaining democratic institutions and relative political autonomy in international affairs. The evolution of policies since the 1960s reflects a special type of gradualism where deliberate choices were made to approach it over an extended time period to ease the transition. This is explained through the development of the concept of "homegrown conditionality". These arguments have important implications for democratic developing countries seeking to maintain ownership of their economic reform packages and development programs.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Political Science) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2003. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-06, Section: A, page: 2234. Adviser: Francine R. Frankel.