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This article discusses the evolution of social protection in Latin America and proposes a conceptualisation and contextualisation of new forms of social assistance. It begins by outlining the main features of social protection prior to the ‘lost decade’ of the 1980s and the changes enforced by crises and structural adjustment. It then focuses on the new forms of social assistance emerging in the region, especially conditional and unconditional income transfers and integrated anti-poverty programmes. The article draws out their common features, identifies possible underlying conceptual frameworks, and places their introduction and evolution within the broader context of the new dynamics of poverty and vulnerability in the region.
This paper examines relations between the state and capital in Argentina with respect to agricultural biotechnology. Argentina is one of the world's leading exporters of genetically modified (GM) crops and is a key player in the global politics of biotechnology. Whereas in other parts of the world, including other countries in Latin America, active civil societies and some governments have rejected the technology, Argentina has adopted it as a central accumulation strategy. The desirability of this strategy has been secured in material, institutional and discursive arenas of power, producing a particular expression of ‘bio-hegemony’. Looking at the role of business in the political economy of agricultural biotechnology is revealing both of the extent and forms of corporate power and contributes to an understanding of hegemony in practice.
Did Latin American privatisation policies fail because of flawed implementation of fundamentally sound policies or because privatisation policies were themselves seriously flawed? Using the Brazilian electric power reforms as a narrative tool, this paper examines the causal chain assumed by large-scale privatisation policies that were implemented as part of structural reform and adjustment programmes. The paper concludes that many privatisation policies and the economic stabilisation programmes within which they were embedded were not mutually reinforcing in the way that policymakers had expected, and that in their application much of what privatisation theories had claimed was lost in translation.
This article shows how Argentine judges effectively came to make labour law when ruling in occupational accident cases between 1900 and 1915. During this period, in the absence of a specific occupational accident law, a number of Argentine workers who had been victims of occupational accidents sued their employers for damages according to the Civil Code. By reinterpreting the principles of the Civil Code in these cases, Argentine judges attempted to accommodate aspects of a new social and economic reality to an increasingly outdated legal framework. The article argues that, in doing so, these judges articulated their own solution to one of the central issues of the time: the ‘social question’. Furthermore, the article shows how the judiciary's particular solution to the social question effectively defined the kind of citizenship rights workers were able to claim in court.
The Christianity of the future in Latin America will remain dominant but now plural and competitive. The decline of Catholic monopoly and the surge of Protestant and Pentecostal churches, visible since the 1980s but with deeper roots, are explained in the context of social, cultural and political changes that have drawn churches into public space in new ways. The impact of democracy, violence, and a newly open civil society on churches and religious life is visible in new ideas about rights and associational life and in the withdrawal of the institutional churches from political confrontation, diversification of political positions and multiplication of voices in all churches.