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(Neo) Development and Welfare Regime in Latin America: how much does political elites import?

Open Panel

Abstract

In the last decade emerged in South American countries a new model of development, called post-neoliberal (Diniz, Boschi and Gaitán) or neo-developmental (Bresser Pereyra). The start point for this transition from neoliberalism to a nouvelle developmental model was the arrival of left wing electoral coalitions to government (Argentina, 2003; Brazil, 2002, Chile, 2000; Uruguay, 2005; Ecuador, 2006, Bolivia, 2005, Paraguay, 2008). This model is defined by state intervention in social and economical arena. In this sense it has revitalized intellectual debate on development, the relationship between politics and economics, state capacities and social integration. This paper tries to analyse the social agenda of post-neoliberal experience in South America, particularly in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, in a comparative approach. What kind of social protection regime is being constructed? What is the role of state and market? What are the boundaries between both spheres in the emergent social model? It is interesting to analyse the emergence of models of social protection in South America because it is contemporary to the retrenchment of welfare state in Europe. In spite of this crisis, the discussion is strongly influenced by historical European experiences. To analyse the process of construction of welfare regimes in the selected countries implies taking in consideration some topics. In the fist place, there is a predominance of labour parties which can be considered a key factor to analyse the possibilities of structuring a particular type of welfare regime. In the second hand, we must investigate the impact of the international crisis on the degrees of freedoms of governments to broaden social expenditure. In the third place, we are interested in understanding the role of strategical elites in the construction of a welfare regime. How political coalitions incorporate a certain option of social policies? This proposal is part of a broaden research on Public policies, strategies and development, financed by Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil, hosted by Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.