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  • Author: Daniel H. Levine, Jose E. Molina
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Studies of democracy in Latin America have gone beyond attention to transitions and consolidation to a concern with developing reliable comparative assessments of the quality of democracy. This requires conceptualization of democracy in multi-dimensional terms; quality of democracy is a continuum that varies along a range of related dimensions: electoral decision, participation, responsiveness, accountability, and sovereignty. Working with these dimensions, an index of quality of democracy in Latin America is developed that provides for comparison between countries and for a richer analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the quality of democracy within each country. Appropriate data include expert assessments, aggregate statistics, and opinion surveys.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Luiz Alberto Gómez de Souza
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The author aims at uncovering points of convergence and divergence in the relationship between the Catholic Church and society. He begins by analyzing the challenges facing the Church in modern times, using the case of the United States and the traditional political relationship between Church and State in Latin America until the rise of the social-Christian options in the 1960s. He then describes Vatican II, which opened the Church to the influences of modern times. Subsequently, the author explains what he calls the “glorious period” of the Latin American Church, from the conference of bishops in Medellin (1968) to the meeting in Puebla (1979), with the Church's critique of “social sin,” its option for the poor, and liberation theology. Concurrently, the author shows the contradictory effects of the military regimes in the region. Looking at the relationship between Christians and politics, he analyzes in particular the case of Brazil, later expanding his analysis to Latin America and the world. The author then addresses social participation and politics in ecclesiastical practices and the slow building of democracy in the region, offering methodological criticisms of some static and nonhistorical analyses. He delineates how democracy has challenged the Church and, looking ahead, explores the present dynamism of society, especially the virtuosity of social movements and ecclesiastical communities when facing future transformation. The author ends by describing the current situation in Latin America, highlighting the pressing need for the Church to face issues that are presently frozen (such as sexuality, celibacy, and women as priests), in the hopes of a possible Council process in the future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Guillermo Rozenwurcel
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After the Great Depression and throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Latin American countries basically approached economic development following two successive and quite opposed strategies. The first one was import substitution industrialization. The second was the so-called Washington Consensus approach. While the two views were founded on quite opposite premises, neither the import substitution industrialization nor the Washington Consensus managed to deliver sustained economic development to Latin American countries. Two domestic elements are crucial to understand this outcome. One is the failure of the state. The second is the inability to achieve mature integration into the world economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Leany Lemos
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Though an important function of the Latin American senates, the confirmation of presidential nominations has drawn little academic attention. This paper assesses empirically the way in which two Latin American upper chambers – the Argentine and Brazilian senates – made use of their confirmation prerogatives between 1989 and 2003, namely, if one of deference to the executive proposals or a more active role including both consultation and oversight. To do this, the article first analyses all nominations regarding outcome (confirmed, rejected and withdrawn) and length of process. Then, the similarities and differences are used to advance some explanatory hypotheses. Special attention is paid to the impact of political factors, mainly divided government, and institutional features, mainly the senates' internal rules for the organization of the legislative work.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: John Nellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In the last 25 years many thousands of formerly state-owned and operated firms have been privatized in developing and transition countries, generating over $400 billion (US) in sales proceeds. In addition, thousands of firms have been transferred by privatization processes in which no money was raised (though a surprising number of state-owned firms remain in these regions). The vast majority of economic studies praise privatization's positive impact at the level of the firm, as well as its positive macroeconomic and welfare contributions. Moreover, contrary to popular conception, privatization has not contributed to maldistribution of income or increased poverty——at least in the best-studied Latin American cases. In sum, the technical picture is generally positive. Nonetheless, public opinion in the less developed world is generally suspicious of, and often hostile to, privatization. A good part of the problem is that privatization has proven harder to launch, and is more likely to produce errant results, in low-income, institutionally weak states, particularly in the most important infrastructure sectors. Privatization is hard to sell politically; it has become a lightning rod and handy scapegoat for all discontent related to liberalization and globalization. What is needed are reform mechanisms that give incentives and comfort to reputable private investors, that create and sustain the policy and regulatory institutions that make governments competent and honest partners with the private operators, while at the same time protecting consumers, particularly the most disadvantaged, from abuse.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Frances Hagopian
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This article identifies and proposes a framework to explain the responses of Latin America's Roman Catholic churches to a new strategic dilemma posed by religious and political pluralism. Because the church's goals of defending institutional interests, evangelizing, promoting public morality, and grounding public policy in Catholic social teaching cut across existing political cleavages, Church leaders must make strategic choices about which to emphasize in their messages to the faithful, investment of pastoral resources, and alliances. I develop a typology of Episcopal responses based on the cases of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico, and explain strategic choices by the church's capacity to mobilize civil society, its degree of religious hegemony, and the ideological orientations of Catholics. The analysis draws from 620 Episcopal documents issued since 2000.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Ruth Fuchs
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: El presente trabajo analiza, desde una perspectiva comparada, las percepciones de las elites parlamentarias de los países miembros del MERCOSUR respecto a las Fuerzas Armadas y a cuestiones de seguridad y defensa. Ante la creciente cooperación en materia de seguridad, se indaga en el plano de los valores y convicciones de las elites políticas para buscar indicios relacionados con el desarrollo de una comunidad regional de seguridad en el sur de América Latina. A partir de los resultados de dos proyectos de investigación empírica sobre los sectores parlamentarios, el artículo identifica semejanzas y discrepancias entre las percepciones de los diputados y senadores de Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay, y discute las posibles consecuencias con miras a una profundización de la cooperación en materia de seguridad.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Latin America, Chile, Paraguay
  • Author: Detlef Nolte, Francisco Sánchez
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the quantitative (mechanical) effects and qualitative (perceptions) effects on political representation of the election of two separate chambers in Latin America's bicameral systems. After discussing the spread and strength of bicameralism in Latin America, we compare the different electoral systems for lower chambers and Senates. Our study shows that in a region characterized by relatively high levels of malapportionment in the first chamber, the second chamber reinforces the malapportionment in parliament. Representation tends to be much more disproportional in the upper chamber than in the lower house. Moreover, the differences in the electoral systems and district magnitudes for both chambers make it more difficult for women to win a seat in the Senate.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Alice Hamui Sutton
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: At the beginning of this third millennium, we are witnessing the end of an era marked by the hegemony of European Christianity and the globalization of a deterritorialized and decentered Christianity. Evangelical Pentecostalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renovation Movement are examples of this type of individual salvation spiritualism in Latin America. This article illustrates how these movements base their success on their ritual pragmatism with regard to personal crisis situations and the image of a near and accessible God. Moreover, the success of these movements is because of the adjustment to new conditions of the global market, the adaptation to the new processes of citizenship typical of modern democracies, and the satisfaction of spiritual and affective needs in a context of intense shifts trying to create new identities to reestablish the social framework of society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Covadonga Meseguer
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: In this paper, I enquire whether 37 governments in industrial and in Latin American countries privatised as a result of learning from experience. Using a rational updating model, I examine whether the decision in the 1980s and 1990s to streamline the public sector was the outcome of a revision of beliefs about the effectiveness of privatisation or whether, alternatively, it was triggered by international pressures or mimicry. The results suggest that rational learning and especially emulation were two important factors in the decision to privatise. International pressures, here proxied by the presence or absence of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and by European Union membership, are irrelevant to explanations of the decision to privatise. Finally, domestic political conditions appear relevant to the decision to launch privatisation but only when the analysis is carried out for each of the regional sub-samples. In the OECD countries, centre-left governments were more likely to privatise whereas in Latin American more repressive regimes were more willing to divest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America