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Social Development in Latin America: The Politics of Reform

Joseph S. Tulchin and Allison M. Garland, editors
Social Development in Latin America: The Politics of Reform
ISBN: 978-1-55587-843-6
2000/269 pages/LC: 00-023074
Woodrow Wilson Center Current Studies on Latin America

"An important contribution.... there are informed accounts of institutional change—as well as of the challenges confronting it, appraisals of policy delivery in crucial areas, and provocative assessments of welfare outcomes. Above all, the volume demonstrates how social policy has moved up the political agenda and emphasises the need for analyses that do not treat it merely as an adjunct to economic strategy."—Colin M. Lewis, Journal of Latin American Studies

"An excellent, well-researched ... contribution to the understanding of the social aspects of the neoliberal reforms in Latin America.... timely and valuable."—Aparajita Gangopadhyay, Latin American Politics and Society

"An excellent collection."—Cynthia Hewitt de Alcántara, Devlopment in Practice


While previous analyses of public-sector reform efforts in Latin America have focused largely on strategies to redefine the role of the state in the economy, there is a growing realization that social reform—addressing such issues as poverty, inequality, and unemployment—is a condition on which economic and political stability rest. This volume provides a wide-ranging analysis of social- welfare reform in the region, examining in particular the politics involved in implementing difficult and controversial social policies that often pit the middle strata of society, represented by powerful stakeholders, against the poor.


Joseph S. Tulchin is former director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Allison M. Garland is program associate at the Latin American Program.


  • The Politics and Administration of Social Development in Latin America—the Editors.
  • The Social Agenda and the Politics of Reform in Latin America—M. Grindle.
  • Reforming Social Sector Governance: A Political Perspective—J. Nelson.
  • From Safety Nets to Social Sector Reform: Lessons from the Developing Countries for the Transition Economies—C. Graham.
  • Safety Nets and Service Delivery: What Are Social Funds Really Telling Us?—J. Tendler.
  • Overcoming Poverty in Chile—D. Raczynski
  • The Dark Side of Chile's Housing Policy—M.E. Ducci.
  • What Significance Hath Reform? The View from the Mexican Barrio—S. Eckstein.
  • The Social Consequences of Political Reforms: Decentralization and Social Policy in Venezuela—J.C. Navarro.
  • The Social Agenda in Argentina: A Review of Retirement and Employment Policies—L. Golbert.