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Reform (Latin: reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc.[1] The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill's Association movement which identified “Parliamentary Reform” as its primary aim.[2] Reform is generally regarded as antithetical to revolution.

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.

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


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

See also[edit]


  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. ^ dictionary definition
  2. ^ Reform in English Public Life: the fortunes of a word. Joanna Innes 2003

Further reading[edit]

  • Harrington, Mona. The Dream of Deliverance in American Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1986. x, 308 p. ISBN 0-394-54973-2