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The New Politics of Inequality in Latin AmericaRethinking Participation and Representation$
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Douglas A. Chalmers, Carlos M. Vilas, Katherine Hite, Scott B. Martin, Kerianne Piester, and Monique Segarra

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198781837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198781830.001.0001

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Putting Conservatism to Good Use? Long Crisis and Vetoed Alternatives in Uruguay

Putting Conservatism to Good Use? Long Crisis and Vetoed Alternatives in Uruguay

(p.360) 15 Putting Conservatism to Good Use? Long Crisis and Vetoed Alternatives in Uruguay
The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Fernando Filgueira

Jorge Papadópulos

Oxford University Press

Uruguay was able to resist many aspects of neo‐liberal reform that took hold in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, despite economic crises, a fundamental change of Uruguay's position in the international market, and pressures from international financial institutions. By examining the limited change in social security, the patterns of labour organization and negotiation, and finally the limits on privatization of public enterprises, it shows how political factors, more than economic or social ones, brought about resistance to those changes, and a more egalitarian response than in other countries. Uruguay's institutionalized pattern of political incorporation allowed new popular actors to effectively participate, and the consensus styles of leadership built on clientelistic parties‐forced changes limited the sharpening income divisions common in other countries. The experience poses the question of whether Uruguay is an outlier or a possible alternative path.

Keywords:   labour negotiations, labour organization, neo‐liberal reforms, party systems, political institutions, privatization, social security

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