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Reform refers to the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc.[1] The modern usage of the word emerged in the late 18th century and is believed to have originated from Christopher Wyvill's Association movement, which identified “Parliamentary Reform” as its primary aim.[2] Reform is generally considered antithetical to revolution.

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

In the United States, rotation in office or term limits would, in contrast, be more revolutionary,[citation needed] by altering basic political connections between incumbents and constituents.[note 1] Reform capacity might be limited by the political system or state capacity.[3]


When used to describe something which is physically formed again, such as re-casting (moulding) or a band that gets back together, the proper term is re-form (with a hyphen), not "reform".[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ On term limits reform see, U.S. Term Limits. On more radical/revolutionary changes, including term limits, see, for example, Robert Struble Jr., Treatise on Twelve Lights: To Restore America the Beautiful under God and the Written Constitution, 2007–08 edition.


  1. ^ "Reform". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  2. ^ Innes, Joanna (2003). Reform in English Public Life: the fortunes of a word.
  3. ^ Lindvall, Johannes. Reform capacity. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Further reading

  • Media related to Reform at Wikimedia Commons
  • Harrington, Mona. The Dream of Deliverance in American Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1986. x, 308 p. ISBN 0-394-54973-2
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