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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

UNRISD Colloquium: "Preliminary Ideas for a Comparative Study of Latin American Countries"

Date: 13 Feb 2003

On Thursday 13 February 2003 at 14:30, Professor Manuel Riesco, National Centre for Alternative Development Studies (CENDA), Chile, gave a presentation reflecting on ideas for a comparative study of social policies in Latin America. It took place in the Palais des Nations, Room A-206 (Door 11 coming from Pregny Gate or Door 9 from Place des Nations Gate).

UNRISD commissioned Professor Riesco to write a background paper on the politics of social policy in Latin America. This then did feed into UNRISD’s project on ‘Social Policy in a Development Context’, which aims to study a state-society nexus that is developmental, democratic and socially inclusive.

During the last two decades, neoliberal reforms promoting privatization, liberalization and deregulation have taken place in large parts of Latin America. These were first implemented by authoritarian or dictatorial regimes but were continued by the succeeding transitional and democratic regimes. Current trends have forcefully raised two questions, which Riesco’s background paper will address: Have the resulting welfare systems been socially inclusive? Have the welfare systems in Latin America been democratic? Furthermore, the recent regional crisis, a part of the economic turbulences inherent in today’s globalization, raises another fundamental question: does the current economic and social protection model provide an answer to the prevailing crisis?

Manuel Riesco is Director at the School of Economics, ARCIS University and of the National Centre for Alternative Development Studies (CENDA), Chile. He has published widely and among his recent publications are ‘Chile: 20 years of Neoliberal Experiments in Social Protection’ (forthcoming) and ‘Chile, a Quarter of a Century on’, New Left Review, no. 238 (1999).

Convenor: Huck-ju Kwon (Research Coordinator, UNRISD)
For information contact Justin MacDermott at UNRISD: Telephone: 022 917 29 45