Reform

Reform means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 1700’s and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill’s Association movement which identified “Parliamentary Reform” as its primary aim.

Reform is generally distinguished from revolution. The latter means basic or radical change; whereas reform may be no more than fine tuning, or at most redressing serious wrongs without altering the fundamentals of the system. Reform seeks to improve the system as it stands, never to overthrow it wholesale. Radicals on the other hand, seek to improve the system, but try to overthrow whether it be the government or a group of people themselves.

Rotation in office or term limits would, by contrast, be more revolutionary, in altering basic political connections between incumbents and constituents.

Developing countries may carry out a wide range of reforms to improve their living standards, often with support from international financial institutions and aid agencies. This can include reforms to macroeconomic policy, the civil service, and public financial management.

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Famous quotes containing the word reform:

    Both of us felt more anxiety about the South—about the colored people especially—than about anything else sinister in the result. My hope of a sound currency will somehow be realized; civil service reform will be delayed; but the great injury is in the South. There the Amendments will be nullified, disorder will continue, prosperity to both whites and colored people will be pushed off for years.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)

    You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else, in fact you have to be there all the time and see that they do not snow you under, if you are really going to get your reform realized.
    Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928)

    We must reform society before we can reform ourselves.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)