Avoiding Governors: Federalism, Democracy, and Poverty Alleviation in Brazil and Argentina - Kellogg Institute Series on Democracy and Development (Hardback)
  • Avoiding Governors: Federalism, Democracy, and Poverty Alleviation in Brazil and Argentina - Kellogg Institute Series on Democracy and Development (Hardback)
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Avoiding Governors: Federalism, Democracy, and Poverty Alleviation in Brazil and Argentina - Kellogg Institute Series on Democracy and Development (Hardback)

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£107.00
Hardback 296 Pages / Published: 30/12/2015
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With the goal of showing the effect of domestic factors on the performance of poverty alleviation strategies in Latin America, Tracy Beck Fenwick explores the origins and rise of conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) in the region, and then traces the politics and evolution of specific programs in Brazil and Argentina. Utilizing extensive field research and empirical analysis, Fenwick analyzes how federalism affects the ability of a national government to deliver CCTs.

One of Fenwick's key findings is that broad institutional, structural, and political variables are more important in the success or failure of CCTs than the technical design of programs. Contrary to the mainstream interpretations of Brazilian federalism, her analysis shows that municipalities have contributed to the relative success of Bolsa Familia and its ability to be implemented territory-wide. Avoiding Governors probes the contrast with Argentina, where the structural, political, and fiscal incentives for national-local policy cooperation have not been adequate, at least this far, to sustain a CCT program that is conditional on human capital investments. She thus challenges the virtue of what is considered to be a mainly majoritarian democratic system.

By laying out the key factors that condition whether mayors either promote or undermine national policy objectives, Fenwick concludes that municipalities can either facilitate or block a national government's ability to deliver targeted social policy goods and to pursue a poverty alleviation strategy. By distinguishing municipalities as separate actors, she presents a dynamic intergovernmental relationship; indeed, she identifies a power struggle between multiple levels of government and their electorates, not just a dichotomously framed two-level game of national versus subnational.

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
ISBN: 9780268070595
Number of pages: 296
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This book puts into stark relief an argument that has only been made implicitly so far: that governors are to be avoided if federal governments in Latin America are to successfully put forth antipoverty policies. The question or pursuit is well stated: to examine why Brazil and Argentina had differing outcomes from similarly designed CCTs. The answer the author provides is that differences in federalism are key: While the setup in Brazil is such that the federal government can bypass governors, the national government in Argentina does not have the opportunity within its federal system to truly bypass the provinces and put through national policy in an equitable fashion throughout the territory. Rather, municipalities in Argentina are captured by the provincial level."--Wendy Hunter, University of Texas at Austin
"Fenwick's very useful book compares the implementation of anti-poverty programs in Brazil and Argentina. . . Fenwick also makes the interesting (and counterintuitive) argument that the extreme party fragmentation in Brazil may have actually been an advantage there."--Choice
"Fenwick's book is a superb example of the power of political science to offer penetrating insights by coordinating the nuances of policy, history, and institutional configuration."--Hispanic American Historical Review

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