Renato H. de Gaspi

Developmental channels: (Incomplete) development strategies in democratic Latin America

  • Law
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology and Political Science

AbstractIn the early 2000s, Latin America witnessed a resurgence in debates concerning the state's economic role, coinciding with a political transformation as new parties emerged to power. Existing literature on the “return of Industrial Policy” in the region largely offers a descriptive perspective, bypassing the intricacies of policy typifications and their associated political foundations. This paper addresses these gaps with two main contributions: First, it posits that the state's proactive economic interventions in Latin America were not comprehensive, but instead divided into two distinct channels: the sectoral and the macroeconomic. Second, by employing a fuzzy‐set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 59 democratic Latin American administrations, the paper delves into the political dynamics that underlie each channel. A detailed comparative analysis between Brazil and Chile serves as a focal point, illuminating their notable policy divergence. The research concludes that labor‐supported parties are predisposed toward adopting active developmental roles, especially in contexts lacking complex economic structures. However, even incomplete strategies require the presence of robust developmental institutions and is contingent upon a government's capability to establish developmental coalitions and countervail opposing interests.

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