"Economic Institutions and Democratic Reform" rigorously and systmatically explores the political effects and consequences of economic reforms in more than 20 post-communist countries. By using primary quantitative data and stringent statistical analyses, Ole Norgaard demonstrates that there is no universally applicable economic reform strategy and that popular democracy is often the foundation of a successful economy, rather than a powerful executive or president, as is popularly asserted. The book also shows that generalized models are not productive when studying the complexity of post-communist transformation. The author argues that the danger to democracy comes from the alienation of citizens and the collapse of public service and education systems instigated by individuals who, with few democratic credentials, capture the political playing field. These leaders have often been encouraged by Western governments who believe democracy can only be imposed on reluctant societies by newborn capitalist elites. This book should be useful and challenging reading for political scientists and economists as well as policymakers in NGOs, such as aid agencies and the institutions of the EU.