The global economic crisis of the 1980's forced most developing nations into a simultaneous struggle for short-run economic stabilization and longer-run structural reforms. As that struggle continues, policymakers and analysts are striving to design strategies for adjustment and growth that are both more economically effective and politically sustainable. At the same time, a wave of political liberalization is sweeping the developing world. Within individual countries, these reform trends are strongly contested and in some cases in danger of being reversed. Their successful consolidation--reliant upon fragile coalitions--may take decades. Governments must balance pressures from external agencies seeking more rapid economic adjustment in return for financial support and the demands of domestic interest groups opposing such reforms. Political liberalization and "adjustment with a human face" pose additional questions: Do increased equity and political difficulties of adjustment? Or do more pro-poor measures add to the political difficulties of adjustment? Forces internal to each country will decide the outcomes, but external financial institutions can help or hinder the process of reform. The times call for vision and flexibility --including a much more subtle recognition of the political dynamics of long-haul economic and political liberalization.Nelson, Joan M. is the author of 'Fragile Coalitions The Politics of Economic Adjustment' with ISBN 9780887382833 and ISBN 0887382835.