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Democracy and the Left Social Policy and Inequality in Latin America

ISBN-10: 0226356531
ISBN-13: 9780226356532
Edition: 2012
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Description: Although inequality in Latin America ranks among the worst in the world, it has notably declined over the last decade, offset by improvements in health care and education, enhanced programs for social assistance, and increases in the minimum  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 9/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Although inequality in Latin America ranks among the worst in the world, it has notably declined over the last decade, offset by improvements in health care and education, enhanced programs for social assistance, and increases in the minimum wage.InDemocracy and the Left,Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens argue that the resurgence of democracy in Latin America is key to this change. In addition to directly affecting public policy, democratic institutions enable left-leaning political parties to emerge, significantly influencing the allocation of social spending on poverty and inequality. But while democracy is an important determinant of redistributive change, it is by no means the only factor. Drawing on a wealth of data, Huber and Stephens present quantitative analyses of eighteen countries and comparative historical analyses of the five most advanced social policy regimes in Latin America, showing how international power structures have influenced the direction of their social policy. They augment these analyses by comparing them to the development of social policy in democratic Portugal and Spain. The most ambitious examination of the development of social policy in Latin America to date,Democracy and the Leftshows that inequality is far from intractable—a finding with crucial policy implications worldwide. 

Torin Monahan is associate professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity.Evelyne Huber is the Morehead Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

John D. Stephens is the Gerhard E. Lenski, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acronyms
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
Theoretical Framework and Methodological Approach
Strategy for Redistribution and Poverty Reduction
The Development of Social Policy Regimes in the ISI Period
The Determinants of Social Spending, Inequality, and Poverty: Quantitative Evidence
Neoliberal Reforms and the Turn to Basic Universalism
Iberia and the Advanced Latin American Social Policy Regimes: Explaining the Different Trajectories
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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