Institutional transition and the problem of credible commitment
During the last phase of state socialism, the economic reforms attempted by these counties didn’t stop the collapse of communism. Neither did the free market economic reforms in the democratic West starting around 1975 bring progress and prosperity expected. The frustrations of both these attempts of transformation make it clear that the goal of social transition would not be achieved without liberal limits on the state - what was created to ward off private predation, which itself became a greater problem of predation. Indeed, we can only ensure the effective function of the society by establishing the self-sustaining constitution and enforcing credible commitment that bind the public institutions.
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- Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters,in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change Princeton University Press.