Democracy and the Left: Social Policy and Inequality in Latin America

Paperback | September 1, 2012

byEvelyne Huber

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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.

In Democracy 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 Left shows that inequality is far from intractable—a finding with crucial policy implications worldwide.

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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.In Democracy and the Left, Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens argue that the resurgence of...

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. Together, they are the coauthors of Development a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:September 1, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226356531

ISBN - 13:9780226356532

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Figures
Tables
Acronyms
Preface and Acknowledgments

1 Introduction
2 Theoretical Framework and Methodological Approach
3 Strategy for Redistribution and Poverty Reduction
4 The Development of Social Policy Regimes in the ISI Period
5 The Determinants of Social Spending, Inequality, and Poverty: Quantitative Evidence
6 Neoliberal Reforms and the Turn to Basic Universalism
7 Iberia and the Advanced Latin American Social Policy Regimes: Explaining the Different Trajectories
8 Conclusion

Notes
References

Editorial Reviews

“An impressive work that is theoretically consistent, exhaustive in terms of data collected, and methodologically sophisticated, combining the solid use of statistical tools with a comparative historical analysis of selected cases. . . . [Democracy and the Left] manages to establish not only statistical but also causal links between the consolidation of democracy, redistributive policies, and the reduction in inequality and poverty in Latin America. It is an obligatory text for students of the region as well as for those who study these topics in different contexts.”