From Political Won't to Political Will – Building Support for Participatory Governance

Malena, Carmen (ed.)
Kumarian Press, Sterling, VA, 2009, ISBN: 978 1 56549 311 7, 310 pp.
Reviewed by or other comment: 

Lars Udsholt

The concept of ‘political will’ in my experience has often implied a rather individualistic approach to the understanding of political change: if only this or that president would understand the objective truth of the advice gracefully provided by the Bretton Woods institutions to implement radical structural adjustment programmes, then his country would soon experience welfare and harmonious development. But as he and his ruling clique only have an eye for personal enrichment, the political elite do not display the required ‘political will’, policy slippage is unavoidable and the reform process will soon be derailed. The arrival of this volume for review, therefore, provoked certain unhappy memories. Let me hasten to state that Carmen Malena and her crew cleverly steer their ship loaded with 13 case studies with a great deal of skill, avoiding simplistic approaches while still moving on in stormy waters.

The full book review is available here: