Programs of agrarian reform have continued to be used either to bring about change or sometimes to slow it down, depending on whether such programs were introduced after a major upheaval in society or as a preventive against it. Economic development and modernization have been used as justifications for introducing reform programs, on the assumption that reform facilitates these processes, but the actual contribution of reform to development and modernization is not obvious nor easily measured because of the variety of approaches utilized in evaluating the effects. Furthermore, only the rudiments of a theory of agrarian reform have been formulated in the literature. To a large extent, agrarian reform programs have been pragmatically oriented, aimed at short-term political goals, or viewed as problem-solving mechanisms in the day-to-day affairs of the state. One may go farther by suggesting that reform programs have often been used to inhibit change. In that role reform serves as a pacifier, and only minimum change would be brought about—just enough to avoid an upheaval or to stabilize the relations between reformers and potential beneficiaries. By the time such a weakness, if it may be considered that, has been discovered, another potion of reform would be introduced to keep the lid on the dormant restlessness of its potential beneficiaries.