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  • Author: Nora Lustig, Maynor Cabrera, Hilcías E. Morán
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America and has the highest incidence of poverty. The indigenous population is more than twice as likely to be poor than the nonindigenous group. Fiscal incidence analysis based on the 2009-2010 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditures shows that taxes and transfers do almost nothing to reduce inequality and poverty overall or along ethnic and rural-urban lines. Persistently low tax revenues are the main limiting factor. Tax revenues are not only low but also regressive. Consumption taxes are regressive enough to offset the benefits of cash transfers: poverty after taxes and cash transfers is higher than market income poverty.
  • Topic: Education, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Guatemala
  • Author: Philip Kitzberger
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of government strategies vis-à-vis dominant media actors in the Latin American context, where the media's role in democratic politics is increasingly being questioned. It compares the first two Kirchnerist presidencies in Argentina with the first two Workers' Party-led governments in Brazil. While these governments initially adopted accommodation strategies towards media organisations, political crises subsequently disturbed the fragile coexistence of media and government, triggering divergent strategic responses that require explanation. Using accounts relying on ideological preferences, the study establishes the importance of environmental factors and critical junctures as determinants of governments' strategic options. Significant differences in the institutional configurations and articulations of media interests in the two countries are found to be relevant. However, the study shows that such constraints do not tell the whole story. Consequently, the analysis also focuses on how certain junctures affect government perceptions of media power and, in turn, inform governments' strategic stances.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While the current international and transnational anti‐corruption campaign (ITACC) has been successful in calling worldwide attention to the topic, several critics have argued that the term “corruption” and the concepts that underlie it are ambiguous and that corruption and anti‐corruption have various meanings. This paper empirically explores these supposedly divergent meanings by comparing the ITACC with the anti‐corruption discourse in Paraguay. In order to explore not only the tensions but also possible coalitions between the ITACC and the Paraguayan discourse, I have conducted discourse analysis and constructionist interviews. The empirical exploration shows that differences, and thus tensions, exist between both levels with respect to the causes and effects attributed to corruption, as well as with regard to the ultimate goal of the fight against corruption. However, there also is a strong discourse coalition between the ITACC and Paraguay concerning concrete countermeasures, which indicates the dominance of the international anti‐corruption approach in the Latin American country. Very different actors with divergent understandings of corruption are able to act collectively against corruption via this discourse coalition, while still interpreting these actions according to their respective political agendas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After decades of failed negotiations and attempts to defeat the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) militarily, a political solution to the Western Hemisphere's oldest conflict may be in sight. Following a year of secret contacts, formal peace talks with FARC are to open in Oslo in October 2012 and continue in Havana. They may be extended to the ELN. There seems a firmer willingness to reach an agreement, as the government realises military means alone cannot end the conflict and FARC appears to recognise that the armed struggle permits survival but little else. With no ceasefire in place, both sides must act with restraint on the battlefield to generate immediate humanitarian improvements. And they will need to balance the requirements of fast, discreet negotiations and those of representativeness and inclusion. The government and the guerrillas have the historic responsibility to strike a deal, but only strong social and political ownership of that deal can guarantee that it leads to the lasting peace that has been elusive for so long.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Government, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Armed Struggle, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Pedro L. Rodríguez, José R. Morales, Francisco J. Monaldi
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Venezuela is a textbook example of a resource-dependent country—between 1950 and 2008, oil generated over a trillion dollars of income for the state. Nevertheless, Venezuela currently combines an economy that is stagnant, despite high oil prices, with an increasingly authoritarian government. The authors argue that large oil rents that accrue to the state, together with a lack of formal and transparent mechanisms to facilitate citizen oversight, are a large part of the problem. They consider the nature of the fiscal contract between the Venezuelan government and its people. This has been characterized by increasing discretion of the executive; only a small share of the rents is now subject to political oversight within the framework of the budgetary system. The authors consider the case for direct distribution of rents, distinguishing it from a populist approach to transfers as effected through Venezuela's misiones. They also report on focus group discussions of the directdistribution approach and the political viability of direct transfers.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Energy Policy, Government, Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Alexandra Starr
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Latino immigrant entrepreneurs are making important contributions to the U.S. economy. They have founded highly successful companies in the frozen food, construction, financial services, and high-tech industries. Many of these companies owe their success to cultural connections with Latin American markets abroad and U.S. Latino consumers at home—markets that are set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Small-scale Latino immigrant entrepreneurs, meanwhile, have helped revitalize city commercial strips and small-town Main Streets across the country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Bert Hoffmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While traditional theories of legitimacy have focused on the nation-state, authoritarian regimes and democracies alike seek legitimation not only in the domestic realm but also from international sources. This paper argues that the degree to, and the form in, which they do so depend on the regime's origins, characteristics, and evolution, rather than being mere consequences of changes in the international context. Empirically, the paper draws on the case of the Cuban regime since the 1959 revolution. In particular, it analyzes how the regime's transition from a charismatic to a bureaucratic model of state socialism in the post-Fidel succession era led to a reconfiguration in the regime's legitimation strategy, wherein it has greatly downsized its once expansive international dimensions.
  • Topic: Government, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Existing studies from the United States, Latin America, and Asia provide scant evidence that private schools dramatically improve academic performance relative to public schools. Using data from Kenya—a poor country with weak public institutions—we find a large effect of private schooling on test scores, equivalent to one full standard deviation. This finding is robust to endogenous sorting of more able pupils into private schools. The magnitude of the effect dwarfs the impact of any rigorously tested intervention to raise performance within public schools. Furthermore, nearly two thirds of private schools operate at lower cost than the median government school.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Kenya, United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Karsten Bechle
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Neopatrimonialism relates to the co-existence of two different logics of political domination: legal-rational rule, which is associated with modern statehood, and patrimonial rule, which corresponds to the traditional type of domination. In recent years, the concept has been applied to characterize political authority in a number of states in different world regions. But despite the fact that elements of neopatrimonial rule can also be found in many Latin American countries, the concept has not taken hold in the scholarship carried out on that region. This paper first explains how neopatrimonialism relates to the dominant approaches in the scholarly debates on Latin American politics, and then it discusses the potential benefits of the concept of neopatrimonialism. It argues that neopatrimonialism provides a more complex characterization of political rule on both the political and the administrative levels than more frequently applied concepts such as neopopulism.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Peter Peetz
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In Central America, legislation aiming to reduce violence and crime has become an important topic in the security debate. Focusing on Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, this paper analyzes laws and other legal texts regarding the trade in and consumption of drugs on the one hand, and gender-related violence on the other. It shows how the content and the wording of legal texts contribute to the social construction of stereotyped offenders, such as youth gang members, drug users, or foreign nationals. The legal texts in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua reflect both the hegemonic and the counter-discursive influences on each country's legal discourse.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Crime, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Ana Soledad Montero
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: The claim for “memory” and “justice” regarding the crimes of the last military dictatorship took a central place in the agenda of Argentina's former president N. Kirchner (2003 - 2007). The purpose of this work is to analyze the tensions and complexities entailed in any process of construction of a collective memory within democracy: What is the role of the authority and the political decision? How can we find common tolerance principles to establish the limits of the political community? Finally, we wonder about the theoretical and practical possibility of justice, tolerance and pluralism in democracy and, particularly, about the main challenges faced by the Argentinean democracy in order to become a consolidated political community.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America, Central America, Spain
  • Author: Eduardo Posada-Carbó
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper tries to link the topic of political finance to the wider question of democracy and political parties in Latin America. By doing so, it aims at providing a conceptual framework within which the subject of political finance could acquire some centrality, hitherto missing in both the academic literature and current debates. The first section examines the extent to which, in spite of renewed democratic developments in Latin America during the last two decades, dominant views of democracy in the region continue to neglect and even undermine the significance of political parties and elections in the workings of democracy. This is followed by a discussion of how prevalent concepts of democracy can impinge on the course of political reform. Admittedly any attempt at establishing such a link is fraught with difficulties, and I only venture a few suggestions by looking at the debate among opinion makers and legislators regarding the prospects for political reform in a single country: Colombia. In the last section, I discuss how public funding—a trend visible in most Latin American countries, apparently adopted to fight corruption and to guarantee equality—may be affecting political parties and party systems in the region. A central, underlying assumption of this paper is that ideas are paramount in shaping the course of policy making, thus conditioning any process of political reform.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Ignacio Walker
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: There appears to be an inherent tension between populism, old and new, and the institutions of representative democracy. This paper focuses on those intrinsic contradictions through a systematic analysis of old and new populism and of its relationship with political democracy. At the core of those tensions is the question of personalization versus institutionalization of power. “Old populism,” as I term it, appears as the most salient and paradigmatic Latin American response to the crisis of oligarchic rule in the 1930s and 1940s. The continuing process of “desoligarquización” may help us to explain the emergence of “neopopulism.” In contrast to old populism, which emerged in the middle of an authoritarian wave, neopopulism has emerged in the middle of a democratic wave, and thus out of the dynamics of electoral democracy. No doubt neopopulist leaders have a formal democratic legitimacy. However, neopopulist regimes appeal to the superior quality of the leader, who appears as the redeemer and the embodiment of the people and the nation. Populism is not the real problem in Latin America; rather, the real problem is the factors that cause populism, namely, the persistence of poverty and inequality, and the decomposition of traditional political institutions and elites in the region. Finally, I shall argue that Hugo Chávez is not Latin America, and Latin America is not Chávez. He may be the most visible and strident political figure, but he is not the most representative one. In fact, he is the exception and not the rule.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Manuel Alcántara, Mercedes García Montero
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This study questions the level of influence that different Latin American presidents have on the making of laws. In order to delimit this analysis, it is necessary to understand the factors that affect decision making in Latin American parliaments. Many of the theoretical approaches that tackle the study of decision making within legislative bodies maintain that the laws that arise from this decisional process, in addition to depending on the institutional organization of the parliament itself, depends on the political actors taking part, on their strategies when adapting to this institutional framework, and on their interests as well as on their collective and individual preferences.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Gabriel L. Negretto
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Given the costs entailed in replacing a constitution, most works on political institutions assume that constitutions are a stable set of rules that become self-enforcing over time. The durability of constitutions is, however, subject to variation. I argue that this variation depends on specific institutions and on the relative stability of the political environment that the constitution is supposed to regulate. Using a duration analysis of constitutions in eighteen Latin American countries between 1946 and 2000, this paper finds that while the lifespan of constitutions is negatively affected by political and social instability, institutions that diffuse power and make possible the flexible adaptation of the constitution to changing circumstances decrease the risk of constitutional replacement. It also shows that for the Latin American region, the durability of constitutions tends to decrease rather than increase over time.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Anselmo Flores Andrade
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Democracia y transparencia son una demanda cada vez más presente en nuestros sistemas políticos contemporáneos (Peschard, 2005; Rivera, 2005). Si bien el adjetivo democrático ha sido utilizado para legitimar el origen, actuación y acciones tanto de los funcionarios como de los órganos públicos, esto ya no es razón suficiente. Cada vez es más imperativo informar, justificar y transparentar la toma de decisiones; así mismo, las acciones emprendidas (Shedler, 2004); es decir, ejercer la rendición de cuentas. Esta tarea, es cada vez más necesaria en la relación dinero y política, pues dicha relación, en los últimas décadas, ha generando graves casos de corrupción que han influido en el descrédito de la política, en general, y de los partidos políticos, en particular. De hecho, los efectos negativos de esa relación han colocado el tema como uno de los centrales en la agenda política latinoamericana (Carrillo, Lujambio, Navarro y Zovatto, 2003; García, 2000; Griner y Zovatto, 2004). Especialmente, el financiamiento de los partidos políticos ha sido motivo de preocupación por lo que, en la última década, se introdujeron, en la mayoría de los códigos electorales del continente, normas y mecanismos tendientes a controlar e inhibir las acciones prohibidas por la ley (Zovatto, 2003). A pesar de ello, los escándalos políticos por el uso ilícito de dinero y tráfico de influencias en las campañas electorales continuaron.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Angélica Hernández Ramírez
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: La política ha cobrado un significado negativo ante los ojos de buena parte de la ciudadanía, quien, lejos de desear participar en ella, permanece lo más alejada posible. Ante esta situación, los partidos políticos y algunos sectores de la sociedad han comenzado a buscar medios alternativos de participación política. Uno de ellos está formado por las redes ciudadanas que podrían facilitar una participación directa mayor que la de los propios partidos, y que podrían constituir, en ocasiones, grandes masas de individuos dispuestos a integrarse en el sistema político.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: John D. French
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The division of Latin America's contemporary left into the “populist” or “social democratic” originated as a disciplinary move by neoliberals. Such dichotomous categorizations derive from an impoverished notion of the political in which a positivist sphere of exalted expertise and enlightenment, based on reason, rationality, and objectivity, is juxtaposed against a lesser sphere of emotion, passion, and personalism. This underlying dualism, which derives from liberalism, permeates academic disciplines and crosses lines of ideology while tracking established markers of hierarchical distinction in a region profoundly divided along multiple lines of race, class, and cultural capital. Politics is better understood as embodied work, done with words, based on real and imagined relationships between flesh-and-blood humans as they are inserted into a larger cultural and symbolic universe.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Imperialism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michael Coppedge, Angel Alvarez, Lucas González
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Theorizing about the influence of modernization on democracy is once again in vogue. Nevertheless, this theme faces an important obstacle: the leverage of modernization hypotheses is generally modest. Key modernization variables, especially per capita GDP, almost always explain part of the variance in democracy, but rarely more than half. Also, as one can see in certain Latin American cases, economic growth sometimes has a negative impact on democracy. This paper argues that the impact of economic growth varies from country to country for systematic, not random, reasons. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) in a cross-regional sample of 108 countries from 1978 to 1999, the paper shows that it is crucial to distinguish between the short- term effect of per capita GDP growth within each country and the cross-national effect of long-term growth. A distinct causal mechanism is at work at each level of analysis. More precisely, the paper identifies four factors that condition the impact of economic growth on democracy: the existing political regime, the democratic experience of each country, the frequency of civil war, and the importance of drug trafficking in the domestic economy. Although other factors probably also condition the effect of the economy on democracy and democratization, the model used in this paper explains 82 percent of the variance in the sample, which is substantially greater than what is typically found in other studies of democratization. Consequently, this paper shows that it is necessary to continue to refine hypotheses about the conditional effect of the economy in order to improve conventional explanations of variation in levels of democracy, whether within one country or in comparative perspective.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, War on Drugs
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Daniel H. Levine, Jose E. Molina
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Studies of democracy in Latin America have gone beyond attention to transitions and consolidation to a concern with developing reliable comparative assessments of the quality of democracy. This requires conceptualization of democracy in multi-dimensional terms; quality of democracy is a continuum that varies along a range of related dimensions: electoral decision, participation, responsiveness, accountability, and sovereignty. Working with these dimensions, an index of quality of democracy in Latin America is developed that provides for comparison between countries and for a richer analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the quality of democracy within each country. Appropriate data include expert assessments, aggregate statistics, and opinion surveys.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Gabriela Salazar Gonzales
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: The present article analyzes the electoral campaigns in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, as a way to establish if these campaigns, as a fundamental part of the electoral and political processes, contribute to achieve a quality democracy. Based on the definition of a good quality democracy, we analyze the electoral campaigns and their institutional design: length, financing, political parties, access to the media, negative campaigns, political debates, government advertising during the campaigns, political parties fiscal accountability and their overall impact in the public participation. Finally, this paper outlines some proposals of improvement for the design of the electoral campaigns in Nuevo León.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Luiz Alberto Gómez de Souza
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The author aims at uncovering points of convergence and divergence in the relationship between the Catholic Church and society. He begins by analyzing the challenges facing the Church in modern times, using the case of the United States and the traditional political relationship between Church and State in Latin America until the rise of the social-Christian options in the 1960s. He then describes Vatican II, which opened the Church to the influences of modern times. Subsequently, the author explains what he calls the “glorious period” of the Latin American Church, from the conference of bishops in Medellin (1968) to the meeting in Puebla (1979), with the Church's critique of “social sin,” its option for the poor, and liberation theology. Concurrently, the author shows the contradictory effects of the military regimes in the region. Looking at the relationship between Christians and politics, he analyzes in particular the case of Brazil, later expanding his analysis to Latin America and the world. The author then addresses social participation and politics in ecclesiastical practices and the slow building of democracy in the region, offering methodological criticisms of some static and nonhistorical analyses. He delineates how democracy has challenged the Church and, looking ahead, explores the present dynamism of society, especially the virtuosity of social movements and ecclesiastical communities when facing future transformation. The author ends by describing the current situation in Latin America, highlighting the pressing need for the Church to face issues that are presently frozen (such as sexuality, celibacy, and women as priests), in the hopes of a possible Council process in the future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Leany Lemos
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Though an important function of the Latin American senates, the confirmation of presidential nominations has drawn little academic attention. This paper assesses empirically the way in which two Latin American upper chambers – the Argentine and Brazilian senates – made use of their confirmation prerogatives between 1989 and 2003, namely, if one of deference to the executive proposals or a more active role including both consultation and oversight. To do this, the article first analyses all nominations regarding outcome (confirmed, rejected and withdrawn) and length of process. Then, the similarities and differences are used to advance some explanatory hypotheses. Special attention is paid to the impact of political factors, mainly divided government, and institutional features, mainly the senates' internal rules for the organization of the legislative work.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: John Nellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In the last 25 years many thousands of formerly state-owned and operated firms have been privatized in developing and transition countries, generating over $400 billion (US) in sales proceeds. In addition, thousands of firms have been transferred by privatization processes in which no money was raised (though a surprising number of state-owned firms remain in these regions). The vast majority of economic studies praise privatization's positive impact at the level of the firm, as well as its positive macroeconomic and welfare contributions. Moreover, contrary to popular conception, privatization has not contributed to maldistribution of income or increased poverty——at least in the best-studied Latin American cases. In sum, the technical picture is generally positive. Nonetheless, public opinion in the less developed world is generally suspicious of, and often hostile to, privatization. A good part of the problem is that privatization has proven harder to launch, and is more likely to produce errant results, in low-income, institutionally weak states, particularly in the most important infrastructure sectors. Privatization is hard to sell politically; it has become a lightning rod and handy scapegoat for all discontent related to liberalization and globalization. What is needed are reform mechanisms that give incentives and comfort to reputable private investors, that create and sustain the policy and regulatory institutions that make governments competent and honest partners with the private operators, while at the same time protecting consumers, particularly the most disadvantaged, from abuse.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Guillermo Rozenwurcel
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After the Great Depression and throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Latin American countries basically approached economic development following two successive and quite opposed strategies. The first one was import substitution industrialization. The second was the so-called Washington Consensus approach. While the two views were founded on quite opposite premises, neither the import substitution industrialization nor the Washington Consensus managed to deliver sustained economic development to Latin American countries. Two domestic elements are crucial to understand this outcome. One is the failure of the state. The second is the inability to achieve mature integration into the world economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Frances Hagopian
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This article identifies and proposes a framework to explain the responses of Latin America's Roman Catholic churches to a new strategic dilemma posed by religious and political pluralism. Because the church's goals of defending institutional interests, evangelizing, promoting public morality, and grounding public policy in Catholic social teaching cut across existing political cleavages, Church leaders must make strategic choices about which to emphasize in their messages to the faithful, investment of pastoral resources, and alliances. I develop a typology of Episcopal responses based on the cases of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico, and explain strategic choices by the church's capacity to mobilize civil society, its degree of religious hegemony, and the ideological orientations of Catholics. The analysis draws from 620 Episcopal documents issued since 2000.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Ruth Fuchs
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: El presente trabajo analiza, desde una perspectiva comparada, las percepciones de las elites parlamentarias de los países miembros del MERCOSUR respecto a las Fuerzas Armadas y a cuestiones de seguridad y defensa. Ante la creciente cooperación en materia de seguridad, se indaga en el plano de los valores y convicciones de las elites políticas para buscar indicios relacionados con el desarrollo de una comunidad regional de seguridad en el sur de América Latina. A partir de los resultados de dos proyectos de investigación empírica sobre los sectores parlamentarios, el artículo identifica semejanzas y discrepancias entre las percepciones de los diputados y senadores de Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay, y discute las posibles consecuencias con miras a una profundización de la cooperación en materia de seguridad.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Latin America, Chile, Paraguay
  • Author: Detlef Nolte, Francisco Sánchez
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the quantitative (mechanical) effects and qualitative (perceptions) effects on political representation of the election of two separate chambers in Latin America's bicameral systems. After discussing the spread and strength of bicameralism in Latin America, we compare the different electoral systems for lower chambers and Senates. Our study shows that in a region characterized by relatively high levels of malapportionment in the first chamber, the second chamber reinforces the malapportionment in parliament. Representation tends to be much more disproportional in the upper chamber than in the lower house. Moreover, the differences in the electoral systems and district magnitudes for both chambers make it more difficult for women to win a seat in the Senate.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Covadonga Meseguer
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: In this paper, I enquire whether 37 governments in industrial and in Latin American countries privatised as a result of learning from experience. Using a rational updating model, I examine whether the decision in the 1980s and 1990s to streamline the public sector was the outcome of a revision of beliefs about the effectiveness of privatisation or whether, alternatively, it was triggered by international pressures or mimicry. The results suggest that rational learning and especially emulation were two important factors in the decision to privatise. International pressures, here proxied by the presence or absence of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and by European Union membership, are irrelevant to explanations of the decision to privatise. Finally, domestic political conditions appear relevant to the decision to launch privatisation but only when the analysis is carried out for each of the regional sub-samples. In the OECD countries, centre-left governments were more likely to privatise whereas in Latin American more repressive regimes were more willing to divest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Alice Hamui Sutton
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: At the beginning of this third millennium, we are witnessing the end of an era marked by the hegemony of European Christianity and the globalization of a deterritorialized and decentered Christianity. Evangelical Pentecostalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renovation Movement are examples of this type of individual salvation spiritualism in Latin America. This article illustrates how these movements base their success on their ritual pragmatism with regard to personal crisis situations and the image of a near and accessible God. Moreover, the success of these movements is because of the adjustment to new conditions of the global market, the adaptation to the new processes of citizenship typical of modern democracies, and the satisfaction of spiritual and affective needs in a context of intense shifts trying to create new identities to reestablish the social framework of society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Anita Ratynska
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The following paper presents the current landscape of civil society participation in regional security policy-making bodies in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It highlights the achievements made in civil society (CS)-government/regional mechanisms partnerships as well as the areas of concern that still remain to be addressed.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Tulia G. Falleti
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Both advocates and critics of decentralization assume that decentralization invariably increases the power of subnational governments. However, a closer examination of the consequences of decentralization across countries reveals that the magnitude of such change can range from substantial to insignificant. To explain this variation, I propose a sequential theory of decentralization that has three main characteristics: a) it defines decentralization as a process; b) it takes into account the territorial interests of bargaining actors; and c) it incorporates policy feedback effects in the analysis of bargaining situations. I argue that the sequencing of different types of decentralization (fiscal, administrative, and political) is a key determinant of the evolution of intergovernmental balance of power. I measure this evolution in the four largest Latin American countries and apply the theory to the two extreme cases: Colombia and Argentina. I show that, contrary to commonly held opinion, decentralization in Argentina did not increase the power of governors and mayors relative to the president. In contrast, in Colombia, a different sequence of decentralization reforms led to higher degrees of autonomy of the governors and mayors relative to the president.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Gerardo Munck
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Studies, University of Southern California
  • Abstract: This assessment of research on contemporary democratic politics in Latin America is organized around the distinction between institutional and alternative approaches. Initially it considers institutionalism on its own terms and, through an assessment of the debate about the institutional causes of gridlock, draws attention to key strengths of this literature. Thereafter, some of the limitations of an institutional approach are addressed and the possibility of combining insights developed from institutional and alternative theoretical perspectives is emphasized. The suggested terms of integration, however, are not symmetric. With regard to causal theorizing, the need for institutionalists to borrow ideas, especially from the broader literature on political regimes, is underlined. With regard to theorizing outcomes, in contrast, the need for students of the quality of democracy to incorporate contributions made by institutionalists is highlighted. Throughout, various pointed suggestions to advance research are offered.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Manuel Pastor, Carol Wise
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Studies, University of Southern California
  • Abstract: After a committed process of macroeconomic stabilization that began during the mid-1980s in most of Latin America, many observers began to speak of the need for a “second generation” of reforms that could more firmly establish the bases for economic growth and correct for longstanding distributional inequities. By the mid-1990s serious reformers like Argentina and Mexico seemed to be on the cusp of tackling this distributional backlog by launching so-called second phase market reforms meant to correct for earlier shortcomings in the social realm (Naím 1995; Pastor and Wise 1999). However, in both cases, financial crises erupted: Mexico's crash of December 1994, which saw a forty percent devaluation of the peso and a massive outflow of portfolio capital; and, more recently, Argentina's 2002 meltdown, which while simmering since the Brazilian devaluation of 1999, finally caused the country's commitment to a fixed exchange rate to be abandoned.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Jeffrey A. Weldon
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The spring session of the second year of the 58th Legislature in Mexico, in comparison with most recent years, was more productive than average. Although there were a few major negative incidents, the strained relationship between the executive and legislative branches did not lead to complete paralysis on executive legislation.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Owen Greene
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The paper aims to outline some key issues and processes relating to security sector reform in Latin America and the Caribbean. The paper defines SSR in this regional context and then identifies and discusses some of the key issues and priorities for SSR in Latin America and the Caribbean. The paper then sketches the history of international assistance to promote SSR, in the three subregions: South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The paper ends with some short conclusions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Wayne Vroman
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Interruptions of earnings caused by unemployment and reductions in the real value of earnings caused by inflation are two important risks that face persons active in the labor market. The following paragraphs discuss these phenomena and the possible mechanisms for addressing the risks that they pose.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Michael Shifter
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Even within Latin America's generally gloomy economic and political outlook, the countries of the Andean region—Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia—stand out as especially problematic and unsettled. For the United States, this set of countries, with some 120 million citizens, poses enormous policy challenges. Fostering democracy, expanding trade, combating drugs, promoting stability, and advancing social development are just some of the challenges germane to this region which, in the context of globalization, post-September 11, become even more compelling.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Marco Palacios
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Ever more frequently, one hears that Colombia is at the point of disintegration. This concept could be developed in several ways. Let us look at two of them. A report in TIME magazine about a territory of 40 thousand square kilometers that President Pastrana marked out as a demilitarized zone in 1998, so as to proceed with peace negotiations with the FARC, claimed that: “Colombia is in danger of being divided into three parts, along lines dictated by the nation's mountain geography. The Marxist guerrillas are ascendant in the south; the government controls central areas and large urban centers; and right-wing, army backed paramilitary forces...hold sway in much of the north.” (Latin American Edition, September 28,1998).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Cynthia J. Arnson
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last several months, and beginning most decisively in the spring of 2002, U.S. policy toward Colombia has gone through a significant shift. Traditionally defined in terms of counter-narcotics, and then expanded under Plan Colombia to include areas of democratic and economic strengthening and peace, U.S. policy is now focused squarely on security issues: improving the capacity of the Colombian government to combat left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries; establishing an effective military presence throughout the national territory on which other state programs depend; and fighting the drug trade that finances all illegal armed groups. To illustrate the shift, consider the statements of two high- ranking U.S. officials. In August 2001, Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman told a Bogotá press conference that “we support Plan Colombia because...Plan Colombia recognizes that a negotiated settlement is the only way to achieve peace.” By March 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a House subcommittee that “we have to help Colombia save its democracy from narcotraffickers and from terrorists.” The following discussion aims to understand how and why this shift came about, as well as its implications for U.S. interests and policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Linn Hammergren
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: JUDICIAL REFORM EFFORTS IN LATIN AMERICA, and by extension worldwide, seem to fall easily prey to magic bullets. In the past two decades, reformers in the region and aid providers from North America and Western Europe have seized upon a whole series of entry points for judicial reform—including model codes, accusatory criminal justice systems, court administration reforms, information technology, alternative dispute resolution, legal services, and constitutional courts. Sometime during the late 1980s, as the issue of judicial independence came to receive more serious attention, judicial councils joined the list, and nearly a dozen countries adopted them. It was not until the late 1990s that questions about their utility began to emerge. Although Latin America is beginning to reexamine its love affair with the councils, the model has been gaining ground in other regions. Western Europeans, who invented the mechanism, have been suffering their own doubts. This has not prevented their joining with U.S. reformers in recommending it to postcommunist nations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The cautionary lessons from Latin America's several-decade experiment with judicial councils have not yet been analyzed and disseminated. This essay is a start in that direction.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, France, South America, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Laura Newman
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Citizens and their leaders around the world have long recognized the risk of corruption. Corruption diverts scarce resources from necessary public services, and instead puts it in the pockets of politicians, middlemen and illicit contractors, while ensuring that the poor do not receive the benefits of this "system". The consequences of corruption globally have been clear: unequal access to public services and justice, reduced investor confidence, continued poverty, and even violence and overthrow of governments. A high level of corruption is a singularly pernicious societal problem that also undermines the rule of law and citizen confidence in democratic institutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Jorge Schiavon
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: More than half of the countries in Latin America have bicameral legislatures, and the vast majority of the larger countries in the region have dual legislative bodies. This paper explores whether bicameralism is an important institutional variable in the functioning of Latin American systems. It develops a typology of the different types of bycameralism in the region based on several specific characteristics that differentiate between them, and discusses the relevance of the institutional configuration of the system and the party configuration of the chambers for bicameralism. Then, it constructs a veto gates and players model in order to analyze the causal mechanism through which bicameralism impacts Latin America systems. Finally, it presents two examples (one with variation in time, the other with variation in space) to support the argument that bicameralism matters depending on its type, the institutional configuration, and party composition of the system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Barbara Stallings, Rogerio Studart
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper deals with changes in the regulation and supervision of the Latin American financial sector in the aftermath of the 'Tequila Crisis' of 1994–95. While it finds that both have improved, regulation and supervision cannot resolve all problems; good macroeconomic policy and performance are essential complements. This is especially true because of the procyclical nature of financial activity. The paper presents both regional data for Latin America, contrasting it with other emerging markets, and four country case studies (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico). The latter show how individual country characteristics and experiences affect the operation of the financial systems. We close with some policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, North America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: David Smilde
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Venezuelan Evangelicals' responses to candidates in that country's 1998 presidential election seem to confirm the view that their political culture is inconsistent, contradictory, and paradoxical. Not only were Evangelicals just as likely as the larger population to support nationalist former coup leader Hugo Chávez, they rejected Venezuela's one Evangelical party after it made a clientalist pact with the infamous social democratic party candidate. In this article, concepts from recent cultural theory are used to examine qualitative data from these two voting behaviors. Ways to make sense of the contradictory nature of Evangelical political culture are suggested.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Manuel Alcántara Sáez
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes the evolution of candidate selection processes in Latin American political parties up to the year 2000. The topic is part of the field of political party studies in the region. The first section diagnoses the problems affecting the data bases produced by the Latinobarometro and the Parliamentary Elites Survey of the Universidad de Salamanca. The second section describes the process indicated in the title of the present piece.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Michael Coppedge
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In order to evaluate accurately the state of democratic governance during the first years of the Chávez presidency, one must sharpen the distinction between democracy narrowly defined as popular sovereignty versus the more conventional notion of liberal democracy. Venezuela was no longer a liberal democracy in every respect. Instead, it became an extreme case of delegative democracy. The president enjoyed widespread popular support for almost everything he and his followers did, and this fact qualified his government as "democratic" in the narrow sense of popular sovereignty. But the systematic elimination of constraints on presidential action after 1998 increased the risk that Venezuela would cease to be a democracy by any definition in the future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Ana Maria Bejarano, Eduardo Pizarro Leongómez
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: During the last decade and a half, Colombia has witnessed both an improvement in the dimensions of democratic participation and contestation and a severe deterioration in those dimensions of democracy related to effective protection of civil liberties and subordination of the military. While the term “semi-democracy” seems most appropriate to classify the Colombian political regime, the restrictions that made the Colombian regime semi-democratic during the second half of the twentieth century have changed in nature. Between 1958 and 1986, restrictions were placed on the competitive dimension of democracy. From the mid-1980s onward, the regime's shortcomings stem from the weakness of the state, the emergence of powerful armed actors, and the absence of the rule of law.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Eduardo Pizarro Leongómez
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Colombian Liberal-Conservative bipartyism appeared up until just a decade ago not only as one of the oldest but also as one of the most institutionalized party systems in Latin America. Today, even though a complete party collapse similar to those ocurred in Peru and Venezuela did not take place, the erosion of both parties has followed a path with few historical precedents: an extreme "personalist factionalism" (Giovanni Sartori) or, to use a more coloquial term that has become popular in Colombia, the implosion of parties in tens and tens of electoral micro-businesses.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Peru
  • Author: Colin Lewis, Peter Lloyd-Sherlock
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Abstract: The paper examines the structural and organisational problems of social insurance systems in Brazil and the Argentine in order to illuminate current debates about pension 'reform'. Much of the present discussion depicts social insurance 'crisis' as a modern phenomenon. Similarly, preoccupations about the macroeconomic objectives of reform - profitable pension funds as an adjunct to capital market deepening, about sustainability - the financial viability of systems, and about equity and coverage, are often assumed to be peculiar to the late twentieth century. The papers stresses the generational (or cyclical) nature of crises that have plagued social insurance regimes in both countries. It also identifies what may be learnt from differences, as well as similarities, between the two systems - not least the relatively larger historic role the private sector and earlier substantive provision for rural workers in Brazil. Following an appraisal of different 'models' (individual 'capitalised' accounts versus pay-as-you-go schemes and monopolistic state systems versus pluralistic/competitive arrangements), the paper concludes with an evaluation of the administrative and financial stability of current schemes.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Luigi Manzetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In December 2001, Argentina recorded the world's largest default ever, as it failed to honor payments on its US$132 billion foreign debt. Since then, five presidents have been in power, the Argentine peso has been devalued by 120 percent, and the banking system has virtually collapsed, dragging the economy into a depression. The gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2002. Argentina's per capita income has become one of the worst in Latin America, and, as a result, more than one-third of its people live under the poverty line. 1 Argentines' confidence in their elected officials has disappeared. By most accounts, the country has literally imploded to a degree that has no precedent in Latin America's contemporary history. This is particularly bewildering, considering that only 10 years ago Argentina was hailed around the world as a model of successful economic reforms, with standards of living that were not only the highest in the region but comparable to those of some southern European countries. How could Argentina go from role model to international outcast so quickly? Some place the blame on external shocks created by the financial crises in Mexico (1995), Indonesia (1997), Thailand (1998), and Russia (1998). Others say the cause of the problem was misguided policy advice from the International Monetary Fund (Stiglitz 2002). Yet, most analyses ascribe much of the trouble to the Convertibility Law's fixed exchange rate policy adopted in 1991.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Thailand
  • Author: Kevin Michael O'Reilly
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Dominicans elected Rafael Hipólito Mejía Domínguez their president on May 16, 2000. He took office on August 16, 2000. Mejía, the candidate of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano — PRD), won 1,593,231 votes or 49.87 percent of the ballots cast in an essentially three-way race with Danilo Medina of the Party of Dominican Liberation (Partido de la Liberación Dominicana — PLD) and former President Joaquín Balaguer of the Social Christian Reformist Party (Partido Reformista Social Cristiano — PRSC). Medina won 24.94 percent of the vote (796,923) to finish second, with Balaguer only fractions of a percentage point behind, at 24.60 percent (785,926). Turnout, at just over 76 percent, was high by historical standards. Although two shooting deaths marred the campaign's closing days, relatively little violence accompanied the voting compared to previous Dominican elections. Since 1994, Dominican electoral law had called for a runoff between the top two vote winners if no candidate passed the 50-percent-plus-one mark, but Medina conceded on May 17, after Balaguer acknowledged that he could not deliver the entire PRSC vote to the PLD in a second round of voting. Balaguer announced, “For the good of the country, we waive our right to participate in a second round.” The country's Central Electoral Board (Junta Central Electoral — JCE) certified Mejía's victory on May 18, 2000.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Gabriel Marcella
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: September 11, 2001, reshaped international relations and had a profound impact on the strategic equation in Colombia. The challenge of what U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called “draining the swamp” of terrorism with global links resonated deeply in Bogotá and among the insurgent forces: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — FARC), the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional — ELN), and the paramilitaries, among them, the United Self- defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia — AUC). Though these groups already appeared on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations, as of 9/11 they formed part of a broader international threat assessment. Two weeks into 2002, an ill-conceived “peace process,” initiated by President Andrés Pastrana with the FARC in 1999, was r esuscitated at the last minute before an impending military offensive by the government against the FARC was started. President Pastrana, “risking all for peace,” had extended himself, his negotiators, and his government's credibility as far as he could for three years — with nothing to show for such extensive efforts other than his administration's and the Colombian citizens' frustration and virtual surrender to the FARC of national sovereignty over a demilitarized zone ( despeje ) the size of Switzerland, located in San Vicente del Caguán, an area south of Bogotá.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Joan B. Anderson
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In pursuit of improved quality and more equity in education, public primary schools in Latin America have utilized several compensatory educational policies that include special interventions such as food aid programs, distribution of free textbooks, classroom libraries, in-service teacher training, extra classes and extra school sessions, tutors and mentors, and scholarships. Using data on children and schools in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, this paper presents the results of cross-country, empirical estimates of the effects of these interventions on language and math achievement and on the likelihood of promotion, both at the school level and at the level of individual children. Language and math achievement was measured by scores on UNESCO-developed language and math examinations administered to each of the 2,048 children in the sample. In addition, the paper addresses whether a particular intervention is equally effective in poor and non-poor environments and whether these compensatory interventions in fact target those who need them most. Empirical findings suggest that the most effective programs are classroom libraries, distribution of textbooks, distribution of food, and teacher training. For programs to be compensatory, the research indicates that better targeting of scarce resources toward low-income schools and children is needed
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: John Cope, Laurita Denny
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In preparation for the October 2000 Defense Ministerial of the Americas (DMA) in Manaus Brazil and at the request of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) studied the global trend toward the creation of Defense White Papers. The study aimed to understand the nature of these documents in order to prepare the U.S. delegation to discuss the tendency in Latin America and the Caribbean during the DMA. The INSS study team found no agreement about what constitutes a 'white paper' other than each is a consensus statement on a topic. The team examined 15 defense documents worldwide and interviewed participants in the development process and independent analysts. The results suggest that the formative, often difficult, process through which governments must move to solidify their approach to national security defense policy, and the structure to implement it and build consensus for it is the essential part of a 'white paper,' providing a constructive experience that benefits the country. Governments tended not to want a template for this process, although at the working level there is some interest in the experience of other states. Defense White Papers become highly stylized nationalistic documents that reflect a state's unique domestic circumstances and international geopolitical situation. The attached chart provides an overview comparison of the Defense White Paper processes of Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Past efforts by U.S. agencies to design templates have failed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Caribbean, Chile
  • Author: Peter Trubowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: This paper, the first of a planned two-part analysis, examines the institutions of paramilitarism, death squads, and warlords in Latin America, with a focus on the case-studies of Mexico and Peru. It begins with an overview of the small comparative literature on paramilitary movements and death squads around the world, seeking to define and clarify the terminology. The literature on "warlordism" is then reviewed, and the similarities and distinctions between paramilitaries and warlords are considered. Lastly, I examine two case-studies that have not, as yet, received extended attention in the comparative literature: Mexico and Colombia. The paper concludes by summarizing the findings and charting a course for future investigations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Steven Levitsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This article seeks to explain the success or failure of Latin American labor-based parties in adapting to the contemporary challenges of economic liberalization and working class decline. It focuses on party organization, and specifically, on informal and under-institutionalized organizational forms. The article's central claim is that under-institutionalized organizational structures may facilitate party adaptation in a context of environmental crisis. Thus, mass populist parties, which lack the bureaucratic constraints that tend to inhibit change in better institutionalized labor-based parties, may possess a distinctive advantage in the neoliberal period. Although these parties' deep roots in society provide them with relative electoral stability, other populist legacies, such as fluid internal structures, non-bureaucratic hierarchies, and centralized leaderships, yield a high degree of strategic flexibility. The article applies this argument to the case of the Argentine Justicialista Party (PJ), a mass populist party that adapted with striking success in the 1980s and 1990s. In the coalitional realm, the poorly institutionalized nature of the PJ's party-union linkage allowed reformers to easily dismantle traditional mechanisms of labor participation, which contributed to the PJ's rapid transformation from a labor-dominated party into a patronage-based party. In the programmatic realm, the PJ's non-bureaucratic hierarchy and under-institutionalized leadership bodies provided President Carlos Menem with substantial room for maneuver in carrying out a neoliberal strategy that, while at odds with Peronism's traditional program, was critical to the party's survival as a major political force.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Catherine M. Conaghan
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: One of the time-honored constitutional traditions of Latin America—the ban on immediate presidential re-election—gave way to political change in the 1990s. Cloaked in controversy, the trend began in Peru. In 1992, President Alberto Fujimori led an auto-coup (auto-golpe) that closed Congress and suspended the 1979 Constitution. The auto-coup eventually led to a new Constitution in 1993. The new Constitution lifted the ban on immediate presidential re-election, allowing a president to stay in office for two consecutive five-year terms.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Philip Oxhorn
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: During much of the 1970s and 1980s, the principal political struggles throughout Latin America revolved around the creation of democratic political regimes based on the right to vote. Now that this right has been effectively established in virtually every country of the region, 1 the limits of political democracy as traditionally defined are becoming increasingly apparent (Oxhorn and Ducatenzeiler 1998; Agüero and Stark 1998; Chalmers et al. 1997). These countries are indisputably political democracies, yet the quality of democratic rule leaves much to be desired. Recent studies of the democratic deficits in Latin America have focused on a variety of dimensions (including extremes of economic inequality, poverty, growing levels of criminality, limits on citizenship rights, the weakness of civil society, problems of representation, and the weakness of political parties, among others)
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Roberto Macedo
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the Brazilian privatization program undertaken in the 1990s, one of the largest in the world, as a result of which over US$71 billion worth of equity capital and US$17 billion of debt owed by the former state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were transferred to private owners, both at the federal and state levels.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Jorge A. Schiavon
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: This working paper argues that the institutional variation between Latin American countries is one of the central variables that explains the huge differences in the implementation, and level of consolidation of the structural reform process in Latin America during the 1980s and 1990s, an issue still unexplained in a satisfactory way in the existing literature. The argument is tested and supported using a statistical model that includes macroeconomic indicators in the explained side of the equation (structural reform), and constitutional, electoral, and party system data on the explanatory side (institutional configuration).
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Marcia Stephenson
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of an indigenous counterpublic sphere in contemporary Bolivia. It argues that the elaboration of the indigenous counterpublic sphere as an arena of oppositional consciousness locates agency in indigenous peoples and challenges prevailing practices that would relegate them to the category of premodern Other. Examining specifically the work carried out by the Aymara nongovernmental organization known as the Taller de Historia Oral Andina [Andean Oral History Workshop], the essay underscores the significance of the indigenous counterpublic sphere in Bolivia not only as a discursive arena but also as an autonomous spatial or territorial arena where Andean cultural and political identities can be enacted and legitimated.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Aleksandar D. Jovovic
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy hosted the spring session of the Schlesinger Working Group on the topic of strategic surprise in Colombia. After a presentation on four potential scenarios that may face Colombia (see next page), Schlesinger Working Group core members and Colombia specialists examined the key factors driving events in this conflict-scarred country, as well as possible outcomes for current political initiatives. Among other issues, the participants touched on the range and dynamics of the present conflict, its effects on Colombian institutions, the country's neighbors, as well as on the role of powerful outside players, primarily the United States. Upon defining these key factors, participants identified a broad outline for future policy towards Colombia, which would safeguard key U.S. interests, defined as an end to the conflict, political and economic stability in the region, and the suppression of the drug trade. The following report is based on the informal and general findings of the group and is therefore not a consensus document.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Robert Grosse
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: The outcomes of regulatory policies and regimes in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico since 1990 in the telecommunications, electric power, and banking sectors are explored in this paper. How should governments regulate these oligopolistic industries, once ownership of the sectors has been passed to private hands? How can governments manage these relationships successfully and see that the greatest benefits accrue to the country? What institutional structures can best handle the problems that arise in these situations? The paper addresses these questions and concludes that, while privatizations in these sectors have been predominantly positive in the 1990s, there is still considerable room for more competition.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America, Mexico
  • Author: María Elena Ducci
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: In urban areas in developing countries, the current experience indicates that well organized and well-informed citizens have become the best motors for positive change within cities and it is the state that has fallen out of touch, in spite of constant declarations about the importance of citizens' participation. María Elena Ducci explains how in Latin America, the urban social movements that focused on the fight for land and housing from the sixties to the eighties today have become citizens' groups seeking to maintain and improve quality of life. Once again, territory has become the focus for city inhabitants who are discovering new ways of being social and becoming the political protagonists of their own lives in the city. According to Ducci, the dynamic of urban politics is changing as these new players—the citizens' groups that are defending their urban environment—come to the fore with enormous strength and energy. They oppose and block public and private urban projects of enormous scope, which raises costs and lengthens time frames for the companies involved. This paper focuses on how these groups, which demand a better quality of life and more equality, are working in an increasingly globalized and polarized city.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Environment, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: L. Jacobo Rodriguez
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The privatization of Mexico's government-run pay-as-you-go social security system, which went into effect in July 1997, is the Ernesto Zedillo administration's most important structural reform. It is a measure that, if successful, will help bring much-needed social and economic stability. The Mexican peso crisis of 1994–95 underscore d the fragility of Mexico's economy, its need for independent institutions, and its need for a large pool of long-term domestic savings. An increase in the rate of private savings in Mexico, which this reform will promote, would make the Mexican economy less dependent on short-term fluctuations of international capital flows and, thus, more stable. More important still, the privatization of social security will erect one of the basic pillars of a free society by turning Mexico into a country of property-owning workers.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Giovanni Cornia
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Well before the introduction of adjustment-related Social Funds (SFs), many developing countries had developed a variety of safety nets comprising food subsidies, nutrition interventions, employment-based schemes and targeted transfers. Middle-income and a few low-income countries had also achieved extensive coverage in the field of social insurance. In countries committed to fighting poverty, these programmes absorbed considerable resources (2-5 per cent of GDP, excluding social insurance) and had a large impact on job creation, income support and nutrition: for instance, in 1983, Chile's public works programme absorbed 13 per cent of the labour force. Their ability to expand quickly depended on a permanent structure of experienced staff, good portfolios of projects, clear management rules, adequate allocation of domestic resources, supply-driven execution and, with the exception of food subsidies, fairly good targeting.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, South Asia, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, Chile
  • Author: Thomas Risse, Sarah Mendelson, Neil Fligstein, Jan Kubik, Jeffrey T. Checkel, Consuelo Cruz, Kathleen McNamara, Sheri Berman, Frank Dobbin, Mark Blyth, Ken Pollack, George Steinmetz, Daniel Philpott, Gideon Rose, Martha Finnemore, Kathryn Skikkink, Marie Gottschalk, John Kurt Jacobsen, Anna Seleny
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The last decade or so has witnessed a resurgence in scholarship employing ideational and cultural factors in the analysis of political life. This scholarship has addressed political phenomena across a variety of national and international settings, with studies of European politics being particularly well represented. For example, the work of scholars like Peter Hall (1993), Peter Katzenstein (1996), Ronald Inglehart (1997), Robert Putnam (1994) and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (1995) has improved our understandings of European polities, societies and economies. Yet despite a recent rise in interest, ideational and cultural explanations still meet with skepticism in many quarters of the discipline. Some scholars doubt whether non-material factors like ideas or culture have independent causal effects, and others, who accept that such factors might matter, despair of devising viable ways of analyzing their impact on political life.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Democratization, Economics, Government, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, France, Latin America
  • Author: Alberto Cardelle
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: The increasingly diminished role of the state in Latin America has been accompanied by decentralization of health care delivery and an enhanced role of the private sector in delivery of services. Simultaneously, in the process of regional democratization, the number of organized civil society groups, NGOs, has expanded, increasing the alliances formed between NGOs and governments in the process of state reform. This paper examines the experiences of 20 NGO-government collaborative health care reform projects undertaken in Guatemala, Chile, and Ecuador. Assessments are made as to how factors, such as civil society-state relations, democratization, state reform, and international pressure, have catalyzed or constrained policies promoting the collaborations. The projects' implementation processes are analyzed with an emphasis on determining their sustainability, and various aspects of the collaborations — for example, funding, coordinated planning, and training — are evaluated. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations for future implementation of similar projects.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Erika Maza Valenzuela
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes women's organizations in the anticlerical-and middle- to upper-class-segment of Chilean society from the late nineteenth century to 1930. It focuses on their leaders' positions regarding women's rights, especially the suffrage. The feminist organizations within the anticlerical segment developed later than the Catholic ones and they had less contact with women in the popular sectors. These organizations had varying degrees of anticlericalism. Some of their members were free thinkers, a few were Protestant, and many of them were Catholics who were critical of the clergy's influence in society and politics. This paper shows that, during the period studied here, the anticlerical leaders, both men and women, were opposed to granting women full suffrage rights. They argued that, before voting, women should be given their civil rights and access to secular education under state auspices. However, even after the Civil Code had been partially modified and the number of women with secular secondary education had become roughly equal to that of men in the mid 1920s, anticlerical leaders still only supported the vote for women in municipal elections. By enfranchising women only for local elections, anticlerical leaders-Liberals and Radicals-sought to 'educate' women politically while preventing them from tipping the balance of forces benefiting the Conservative Party in legislative and presidential elections. Catholic-Conservatives had been more inclusive of women in education, social life, and politics since the mid-nineteenth century, and for this reason they had a greater capacity to appeal for women's votes.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Robert A. Pastor
  • Publication Date: 03-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Independent candidates and representatives from 27 political parties contested more than 2,000 municipal and Parliamentary postions in elections in Haiti on June 25, 1995. In the pre-election period, the Provisional Election Council (CEP) judged the qualifications of nearly 12,000 candidates, and disqualified about one thousand without explanations. The process was so prolonged and contentious that the ballots had to be changed up to the last days, and there were numerous mistakes. The CEP's erratic performance led three parties to boycott the election, and virtually all to question the CEP's judgment and independence. The unresponsiveness of the CEP to legitimate complaints raised by the political parties sowed seeds of distrust in the electoral process.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 08-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The national elections on August 21, 1994 will be an important milestone in Mexico's political opening. During the last four years, the Mexican Congress approved a number of important reforms to the electoral process. Yet the Mexican population remains highly skeptical about the integrity of the elections. Opinion polls show that nearly one-half of respondents expect fraud, and more than one half expect post-electoral violence.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 11-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Robert Pastor, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program at The Carter Center and Executive Secretary of the Council, opened the conference with a reference to Mexican Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz who once said, "A nation without free elections is a nation without a voice, without eyes, and without ears." Pastor noted that the right to free and fair elections is a universal right enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Organization of American States. In the spirit of honoring that right, the Council was formed in 1986 to lend support and assistance to the democratization movement in the Americas.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 05-1990
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: During the entire electoral process, the political system in Nicaragua gradually opened so that by election day, the major political parties acknowledged that they had an adequate opportunity to explain their positions to the Nicaraguan people. The Council of Freely-Elected Heads of Government shared the conclusion of the parties: the Nicaraguan people were free to vote their preferences in a fair election, and the official results reflected the collective will of the nation.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America