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Lecture 9

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Political Science
Judith Teichman

POLC91 November, 15, 2012 Lecture 9 Democracy in the era of neoliberalism and the case of Chile LA’s dual transition -there was neoliberal/market reform through structural adjustment -included privatization, deregulation etc. -political liberalization/democratization -mutually reinforcing trends? – there was a strong sense of optimism at the time, ppl thought if you reduced the role of the state, then you were going to create cond’s where you could have greater democracy b/c cutting back role of the state which would allow for dispersion of power -democracies did not develop the way many ppl had hoped -there was the emergence of demo with authoritarian features -demo’s that emerged from mid to late 1980’s and through 90s were described as delegative democracies, low intensity, or hybrid demo’s – this indicated there was a lot of serious problems with these -weak protection of civil liberties, absence of due process -there was concentration of political power – power ended up in the hands of a few people, which was made worse by the whole process of reform -these policies contributed to rise in poverty and rise in inequality -how is it that electoral democracies, were able to implement and continue with market reform -it was possible b/c of concentration of political power, and caudillismo was also a part of this -Fujimori in Peru – 1990 -2000- he was of Japanese descent so they thought that he was a good representative of the ppl against the oligarchy -ppl supported Menem in Argentina b/c they were 100% loyal to him, even if they didn’t agree with his policies, thought maybe they would be beneficial in the long run -this is how caudillismo can work to enforce policies that may not benefit the ppl, but they will support you anyways Poverty in LA -in 1970 poverty was 40%, not until 2005 were the rates lower than they were in 1970 – in 2005 was 39% -1990 was almost 50% Inequality -1990-2000- there was no improvement, or it got worse -200-2003/5; some improvement -2000s-2009 – inequality declined -it still remains high -measured by gini coefficient – higher the number the greater the inequality -1 would be great inequality – 1 person has all the wealth, perfect inequality 1 -if about .47 interferes with economic growth -canada . 32 mexico .52 chile .55 -for most of the countries, the rating today is worse than it was in the 70s and 80s – have improved in the last 10 years, but still worse than it was decades ago Why has poverty declined -greater attn. to social welfare – programs have been instituted to try and reduce it -economic growth – employment generation, -remittances – this is particularly imp’t in the Mexican case, many workers go to US and send money back to family in mexico what are the factors that have undermined and continue to undermine LA democracy? -role of multilaterals – had an imp’t role in structural adjustment -closed and secretive policy making process involving imp’t policies -latest involvement: conditional cash transfer programs -highly technocratic programs that have been formulated mostly in WB and Washington with top policy makers of particular countries, involve little consultaton of poor ppl who are affected by them or civil society/ org’s -they give money to ppl who are the poorest, and in exchange for this money you put your kids in school and take them to the health clinic, but the problem with them is that they don’t involved popular participation, and have become intensely disliked in some countries – make ppl angry, when some get money and some don’t depending on a couple of peso’s difference in their wealth Technocrats -70s-80s – “think tanks” and education abroad -debt crisis increased their power; -usually favor a closed policy making process – think ordinary ppl don’t understand policy and politics, and so you cant have public participation in policy making, are resistant to public consultation b/c they think they have the answers and don’t want to be criticized Presidentialism and Caudillismo -constitutionally granted decree powers used in the market reform process -got used to using decree powers, not something that was just done for market reform -supplemented by caudillismo -a lot of these gov’ts were quite corru
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