Welfare State and development strategies in Latin America: a new developmentalism in gestation?

This essay has objectives mainly methodological. It indicates principles, parameters and an analytical frame we consider interesting to the studies on social policy and development in Latin America region. Specially on the different strategies of development and the evolution of Welfare State in it. Latin America is emerging from a century of transformation-from a traditional agrarian economy to an urban industrial one-in which countries have taken diverse historical paths. State-led transition has followed two successive development strategies. From the 1920s up to the 1980s, state developmentalism has mostly successfully assumed the twin challenges of economic and social progress. In the last two decades of the century, Latin American states adopted the policies of the Washington consensus, which emphasized the importance of business in the framework of globalization and benefited the affluent few. What were the characteristics and functions of the Welfare State in both development strategies? The article suggests that in order to reduce the extremely heterogeneous social and economic conditions in the region, it is indispensable to fix the different starting point and the various paths of development pursued by group of countries towards modernity. It also suggests that the two development strategies, far from annulling itself, constitute a basis for the emergence of the next. Thus, the exhaustion of the liberal strategy opens the way not to return to the developmental strategy, but rather to the emergence of another one that will reset in new foundations for the development, social policy and democracy

Welfare State; Social protection systems; Latin America; Economic development; Integrated analysis

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