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The Effect of Unions and Organized Civil Society on Social Policy: Pension and Health Reforms in Argentina and Brazil, 1988–2008

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Sara Niedzwiecki*
Political science at the University of New Mexico.


This article shows how modified European power resources theories can be applied to Latin America to explain differences in the depth of policy reforms. It innovates on previous work on Latin American social policy by particularly examining the effect of unions and other civil society groups on the process of structural reforms (or lack thereof) in the health and pension sectors in Argentina and Brazil. Through a most similar system design, this analysis shows that the strength and support (or opposition) of organized civil society groups is a crucial condition to account for the enactment (or failure) of a given broad policy reform.

Research Article
Copyright © University of Miami 2014

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