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Key Issues and Texts: Development and Policy

Seminar 1: Industrialisation, commodities-led growth, and catching-up (PML) 

This session examines recent development strategies in Latin America, interrogating their views regarding what economic policies should be adopted to reach fast and sustained growth. The session discusses how different strategies see the role of manufacturing versus resource-based development; advocate for export-orientated versus domestic-focused growth; analyse global value chains and how climb to their higher links; and integrate growth into a larger policy and development framework.

Key issues

  • New/neo-developmentalism
  • Neostructuralism
  • Export-orientated growth
  • Resource-based development
  • Global value chains

Key texts

Bibliography
 

Seminar 2: Social policy under the (Post-) Washington Consensus (PML)

This session examines the main changes to social policy frameworks in Latin America since the 1990s. It explores how income-supporting policies and the provision of key goods and services have been envisioned, following the main policy frameworks since the transition to neoliberalism and from the 2000s onwards. Policies are investigated not only in terms of their expected and actual results, but also placed in the theoretical and normative underpinnings that are used to justify them. Some of the key processes this session discusses are the rise of conditional cash transfer (CCT) schemes, the expansion of education, the much more muted rise of universal social protection networks, the ‘financialisation’ of social policy, and how visions form Latin America – such as ‘living well’ – have been challenging these forms of social policy.

Key issues

  • Conditional cash transfers
  • Public education
  • Universal social protection networks
  • ‘Financialisation’ of social policy
  • Living well / sumak kawsay / buen vivir
  • (Post-) Washington Consensus

Key texts

Bibliography
 

Seminar 3: Latin American Development Experience in Historical and Comparative Perspectives (HJC)

Key issues

Key texts

Bibliography
 

Seminar 4: Policy Design, Failures, and Futures (TF)

Key issues

  • Technocracy
  • Participatory policy design and democratic innovations
  • Technology transfer and its discontents
  • Communicating public policy

Key texts

  • Ureta, Sebastián. (2015). Assembling Policy: Transantiago, Human Devices, and the Dream of a World-class Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press **our discussion will centre around the empirical findings and theoretical arguments put forward in Assembling Policy - students are asked to read it in detail**
  • Dolowitz, David P., and David Marsh. ‘Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making’. Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration 13, no. 1 (2000): 5–24.
  • Fung, A. (2011). Reinventing Democracy in Latin America. Perspectives on Politics, 9(4), 857-871. doi:10.1017/S1537592711003744
  • Ong, A. (2011) 'Introduction: Worlding Cities, or the Art of being Global', in Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of being Global (eds A. Roy and A. Ong), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

Bibliography
 

Seminar 5: Populisms, old and new (PML)

This session explores how the idea of populism has been seen in Latin America, contrasting the ‘old’ versions of the mid-20th century to the ‘new’ versions of the early 21st century. This involves, first, a discussion of how the concept of populism, a polysemic and politically charged idea, has been mobilised across the political spectrum. Emphasis is put on how different theories define populism, particularly with regards to its alleged relationship to redistribution, popular participation, and social conflict. Second, this session explores the relationship between populism and the demands and dynamics of social movements and trade unions, focusing on recent attempts in Latin America to create deeper forms of participation (‘radical democracy’). Third, the session explores these topics through a study of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ populisms in Brazil and Argentina.

Key issues

  • Populism
  • Radical democracy
  • Neoliberalism
  • Redistributive policies
  • Popular participation in politics

Key texts

Bibliography
 

Seminar 6: The Promises of Digitizing Government (TF)

Key issues

  • Digital Government and addressing inequality
  • Modernization discourses
  • Technology and trust in public institutions
  • Regional networks and policy transfer

Key texts

  • Filer, T., Cacace, J., 2018 (forthcoming). Digitizing Argentine Government, The Bennett Institute Case Study Series. Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge.
  • Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., 2015. Design principles for essentially digital governance, in: 111th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Presented at the American Political Science Association, pp. 1–32. 
  • Galperin, H., 2017. Why Are Half of Latin Americans Not Online? A Four-Country Study of Reasons for Internet Non-Adoption 11, 3333–3354.

Bibliography