This insightful book examines the necessary conditions for the successful initiation and consolidation of unpopular economic reforms. Drawing on the burgeoning literature in the area of policy reform, it features a comparative analysis of fiscal reform in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic at different stages of the post-communist transformation. This analysis demonstrates that a significant number of the national differences in fiscal reform can be attributed to differences in political constraints. It also reveals that these very constraints change in the course of transformation and have become increasingly similar to the `standard' restrictions which exist in the traditional EU and OECD countries.This in-depth analysis of the changing role of political determinants in post-communist fiscal reform will strongly appeal to economists and political scientists interested in the political economy of policy reform, post-communist economic transformation and the role of international organizations (IMF, EU) in shaping domestic policy-making. Policy analysts interested in fiscal reform in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic will also find much to interest them in this book.