Continuity Despite Change

The Politics of Labor Regulation in Latin America

Continuity Despite Change

As the dust settles on nearly three decades of economic reform in Latin America, one of the most fundamental economic policy areas has changed far less than expected: labor regulation. To date, Latin America's labor laws remain both rigidly protective and remarkably diverse. Continuity Despite Change develops a new theoretical framework for understanding labor laws and their change through time, beginning by conceptualizing labor laws as comprehensive systems or "regimes." In this context, Matthew Carnes demonstrates that the reform measures introduced in the 1980s and 1990s have only marginally modified the labor laws from decades earlier. To explain this continuity, he argues that labor law development is constrained by long-term economic conditions and labor market institutions. He points specifically to two key factors—the distribution of worker skill levels and the organizational capacity of workers. Carnes presents cross-national statistical evidence from the eighteen major Latin American economies to show that the theory holds for the decades from the 1980s to the 2000s, a period in which many countries grappled with proposed changes to their labor laws. He then offers theoretically grounded narratives to explain the different labor law configurations and reform paths of Chile, Peru, and Argentina. His findings push for a rethinking of the impact of globalization on labor regulation, as economic and political institutions governing labor have proven to be more resilient than earlier studies have suggested.

The Politics of Freeing Markets in Latin America

Chile, Argentina, and Mexico

The Politics of Freeing Markets in Latin America

Politics of Freeing Markets in Latin America: Chile, Argentina, and Mexico

Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America

Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective

Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America

Explains why some contemporary Latin American labor-based parties adapted successfully to the challenges of neoliberalism.

Retiring the State

The Politics of Pension Privatization in Latin America and Beyond

Retiring the State

In the 1990s, numerous Latin American nations privatized their public pension systems. These reforms dramatically transformed the way these countries provide retirement income, and they provoked widespread protests from workers and pensioners alike. Retiring the State represents the first book-length study of the origins of this surprising trend. Drawing on original field research, including interviews with key policymakers, Madrid argues that the recent reforms were driven not by social policy, but by macroeconomic concerns. Countries facing growing financial pressures chose to privatize their pension systems largely to boost their domestic savings rates and reduce public pension spending in the long run. The author explores his arguments through detailed case studies of pension reform in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, a survey of social security privatization efforts in East Europe and Latin America as a whole, and a quantitative analysis of pension privatization worldwide.

The Politics of Policies

The Politics of Policies

This study analyzes how the workings of the policymaking process affect the quality of policy outcomes. It looks beyond a purely technocratic approach, arguing that the political and policymaking processes are inseparable. It offers a wide variety of examples and case studies, and yields useful insights for the design of effective policy reform.

The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America

The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America

Rather than an unintended by-product of poor state capacity, weak political and legal institutions are often weak by design.

The Politics of Antipolitics

The Military in Latin America

The Politics of Antipolitics

Latin America is moving toward democracy. The region's countries hold elections, choose leaders, and form new governments. But is the civilian government firmly in power? Or is the military still influencing policy and holding the elected politicians in check under the guise of guarding against corruption, instability, economic uncertainty, and other excesses of democracy? The editors of this work, Brian Loveman and Thomas M. Davies, Jr., argue that with or without direct military rule, antipolitics persists as a foundation of Latin American politics. This study examines the origins of antipolitics, traces its nineteenth- and twentieth-century history, and focuses on the years from 1965 to 1995 to emphasize the somewhat illusory transitions to democracy. This third edition of The Politics of Antipolitics has been revised and updated to focus on the post-Cold War era. With the demise of the Soviet state and international Marxism, the Latin American military has appropriated new threats including narcoterrorism, environmental exploitation, technology transfer, and even AIDS to redefine and relegitimate its role in social, economic, and political policy. The editors also address why and how the military rulers acceded to the return of civilian-elected governments and the military's defense against accusations of human rights abuses.

Latin American Land Reforms in Theory and Practice

A Retrospective Analysis

Latin American Land Reforms in Theory and Practice

Surveying three decades of land reform efforts in Latin America, Peter Dorner draws upon his broad experience as both a policy maker and a researcher specializing in land tenure systems. He argues that the failures of Latin American land reforms are due to a lack of political will and commitment exacerbated by inadequate capital resources. Avoiding polemics, Dorner evaluates the many competing theoretical and ideological positions in the ongoing debates over land reform, from structuralist economics to liberation theology. He then looks at a range of actual reform experiences, including local peasant initiatives and international aid projects. Emphasizing the growing complexity of Latin American economies, Dorner demonstrates that solutions successful in one country may fail in another. He concludes that aid and political pressure from the international community can play only a peripheral role. Recognizing that change must come from within, Latin American countries must develop multifaceted approaches to meet objectives based on their own individual experiences. Dorner warns that "romantic" expectations for future land reform relying on any one solution will continue to lead to disillusionment. If opportunities for the landless population were actually a top priority of governments and power-brokers, Dorner believes, they could be achieved through agrarian reform policies that set clear goals and criteria for implementation. Nevertheless, the potential gains from such a program are, in most cases, more limited now than thirty years ago.

Social Development in Latin America

The Politics of Reform

Social Development in Latin America

This volume provides a wide-ranging analysis of social welfare reform in Latin America, examining in particular the politics involved in implementing difficult and controversial social policies that often pit the middle strata of society, represented by powerful stakeholders, against the poor.