POLC99H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Neoliberalism

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Published on 11 May 2015
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POLC99 LECTURE 11
03/16/2015
CAPTURING STATE POWER
I. THE LEFT AND CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
-“Left Turn” the broad wave of leftist governments that have come to power since the
late 1990s and are questioning economic orthodoxy and seeking alternatives to
neoliberalism; e.g. “growth with equity”
oSocioeconomic inequality, each administration is distinct
oTension between leftist government and the social movement
-Institutionalized Left: Chile +Uruguay; tends to discourage societal mobilization
outside of the electoral arena.
-Populist Left: e.g. Venezuela and Ecuador; may co-opt social movement or direct
them from above
-Social Movement Left: e.g. Bolivia and Brazil; synergy between social movements
and the left
oAll share the concern of socioeconomic inequality but deal with it differently
-Crisis of Representation: refers to a situation in which citizens do not trust or confer
legitimacy to agents of democratic representation
oE.g. political parties and congress
oLed to the rise of left turn
-Explanation for the Crisis
1. INSTITUTIONAL: the inadequacies of existing mechanisms of representation
excludes citizens from the politics
a. Restrictions were lifted, easier to participate.
b. E.g. Ecuador, electoral reform, prior to 1994, to form a party, must compete in
10 provinces including most populated
2. ECONOMIC: economic disruption upset the existing contract between state and
society
3. SOCIO-POLITICAL: civil society has become highly pluralist/fragmented and
traditional parties and actors no longer represent their interests
a. Cheapest and earliest
b. Does address institutional short-comings
c. Probably not the most practical solution
-New Constitutionalism: constitutional reform or replacement in an attempt to
challenge/change the balance of power and transform political systems;
oIncludes creation of new institution (vice ministries)
oElements of direct democracy (re-calls, referendums)
oNew citizen rights (no discrimination against women/indigenous people)
oNew conceptualizations of the state (plurinational states)
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