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Banking and finance are often studied as specialized domains, governed by their own esoteric rules and concepts, and best cordoned off from broader comparative, historical and political considerations. This book develops an alternative approach. It focuses on the recent, strikingly deviant, experience of Brazil but goes well beyond that single case. It assesses financial sector reform and the consolidation of legitimate monetary authority in an era of globalization and democratization, and advocates the adoption of a holistic and contextualized perspective. It explores the cumulative potential of an incremental 'statecrafting' approach, in contrast to recently fashionable technical 'fixes' such as the idea that central bank independence provides a reliable and universal remedy for all monetary ills. This perspective generates a new interpretation of the development of the monetary system of democratizing Brazil, particularly illuminating key features of financial policy of the administrations of Presidents Cardoso and Lula da Silva.
The aim of the book is to contribute to reinvigorating the debate over appropriate policy reforms in today's emerging markets, by posing a challenge to various prevailing orthodoxies and dogmas.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The political dynamics of financial crises in 'emerging market' democracies Chapter 2: Recent modifications of international financial system Chapter 3: The long and simultaneous construction of fiscal and monetary institutions Chapter 4: Crafting economic stabilization: political discretion and technical innovation in the implementation of the Real Plan Chapter 5: Who is afraid of economic populism? Counterintuitive observations on democracy and Brazilian political economy Chapter 6: Central banking, democratic governance, and the quality of democracy Chapter 7: Courts, policy contestation, and legitimation of economic reform under Cardoso Chapter 8: Financial credibility, legitimacy and political discretion: the Lula da Silva government Chapter 9: Wall Street and emerging democracies: financial markets and the Brazilian presidential elections Chapter 10: From the economics of politics to the politics of monetary policy
Lourdes Sola is Professor of Political Science at the University of Sao Paulo. Laurence Whitehead is Official Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford.