Synopses & Reviews
Since the 1970s, two major trends have emerged among developing countries: the rise of new democracies and the rush to free trade. For some, the confluence of these events suggests that a free-market economy complements a fledgling democracy. Others argue that the two are inherently incompatible and that exposure to economic globalization actually jeopardizes new democracies. Which view is correct? Bumba Mukherjee argues that the reality of how democracy and trade policy unravel in developing countries is more nuanced than either account.
Mukherjee offers the first comprehensive cross-national framework for identifying the specific economic conditions that influence trade policy in developing countries. Laying out the causes of variation in trade policy in four developing or recently developed countriesandmdash;Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africaandmdash;he argues persuasively that changing political interactions among parties party leaders, and the labor market are often key to trade policy outcome. For instance, if workers are in a position to benefit from opening up to trade, party leaders in turn support trade reforms by decreasing tariffs and other trade barriers.
At a time when discussions about the stability of new democracies are at the forefront, Democracy and Trade Policy in Developing Countries provides invaluable insight into the conditions needed for a democracy to survive in the developing world in the context of globalization.
"With the publication of Democracy and the Left
, Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens contribute another major book, adding to their stellar careers. Latin America has long been characterized by high poverty rates and the sharpest inequalities in the world. Huber and Stephens argue persuasively that poverty and inequality are not intractable problems. Through careful research, they show that, because democracy allows progressive political parties and social forces to influence policy and come to power, it generally has a positive impact on poverty and inequality when it lasts for at least twenty years."
"Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens have produced another classic contribution to the literature on the political dynamics of social policy. Combining sophisticated cross-national quantitative analysis with comparative historical analysis founded on encyclopedic knowledge of the cases in question, Huber and Stephens demonstrate how and why politics makes a fundamental difference to national welfare. As Latin America increasingly becomes a reference point for those interested in progressive policy outcomes, this book is a must for the libraries of social scientists and policy makers."
andldquo;Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens have provided the most theoretically profound, empirically thorough, and wide-ranging work that advances the more optimistic view that democracy itself plays a crucial role in stimulating redistribution in Latin America and that the political left is the most important agent in effecting this change. Democracy and the Left is an important, major book that advances a powerful argument about a significant topic and substantiates it with an impressive range of research.andrdquo;
andldquo;John D. Huber and Evelyne Stevens examine the resurgence of left-wing parties, arguing that the left has used social policy to reverse the rise of inequality in Latin America. Drawing on empirical data, they provide cases studies of five Latin American countries that have used social policy to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. This is an important contribution to both policy formation and analytic development, sure to challenge assumptions and provoke arguments among policy makers, civil society activists, and pundits.andrdquo;
andldquo;In this very welcome and illuminating volume, Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens show how changing political forces and growing democratisation in Latin America have created the conditions for social policy reforms that are gradually helping to reduce poverty and inequality across the continent.andrdquo;
and#8220;[Huber and Stephensand#8217;s] provocative arguments are built around a sound analytical framework which guides the selection of data and methods used, as well as the claims made. . . . There is also a compelling and specific adaptation and application of theories of policy formation applied to the Latin American context. . . . Without a doubt a massive contribution to Latin American studies.and#8221;
and#8220;The excellent Democracy and the Left offers compelling support for Huber and Stephensand#8217;s greater optimism about the long-run capacity of democracy and left governments to reduce inequality through redistributive social policy. Drawing from their own previously developed and#8216;power constellations theory,and#8217; the authors demonstrate how Latin Americaand#8217;s class structure and lack of consistent democracy historically meant a weak Left, how recently lack of state capacity hindered social policy development, and how in the 1980s transnational forces pressed for equality-reducing reforms. [The book] deserves a wide audience, and not only among Latin Americanists.and#8221;
andldquo;An impressive work that is theoretically consistent, exhaustive in terms of data collected, and methodologically sophisticated, combining the solid use of statistical tools with a comparative historical analysis of selected cases. . . . [Democracy and the Left] manages to establish not only statistical but also causal links between the consolidation of democracy, redistributive policies, and the reduction in inequality and poverty in Latin America. It is an obligatory text for students of the region as well as for those who study these topics in different contexts.andrdquo;
andldquo;Why does the impact of democracy vary across developing countries? Mukherjee provides a compelling answer to this important question, moving beyond earlier work to examine variation not only across different regime types but also among democracies with different electoral rules. Democracy and Trade Policy in Developing Countries is a theoretically rigorous and empirically thorough work that is likely to become the leading book on this subject.andrdquo;
Although inequality in Latin America ranks among the worst in the world, it has notably declined over the last decade, offset by improvements in health care and education, enhanced programs for social assistance, and increases in the minimum wage.In Democracy and the Left, Evelyne Huber and John D. Stephens argue that the resurgence of democracy in Latin America is key to this change. In addition to directly affecting public policy, democratic institutions enable left-leaning political parties to emerge, significantly influencing the allocation of social spending on poverty and inequality. But while democracy is an important determinant of redistributive change, it is by no means the only factor. Drawing on a wealth of data, Huber and Stephens present quantitative analyses of eighteen countries and comparative historical analyses of the five most advanced social policy regimes in Latin America, showing how international power structures have influenced the direction of their social policy. They augment these analyses by comparing them to the development of social policy in democratic Portugal and Spain.and#160;The most ambitious examination of the development of social policy in Latin America to date, Democracy and the Left shows that inequality is far from intractableandmdash;a finding with crucial policy implications worldwide.
Since the 1970s, developing countries have experienced two notable trends: the rise of new democratic regimes and the rush to free trade. These joint trends have led some to argue that democracy and free-trade go hand in hand in the developing world, each supporting the other. Mukherjee argues that trade politics in developing countries resists such easy categorization. Instead, his book offers an innovative theoretical framework identifying the specific economic conditions and democratic institutions that influence trade policy in developing countries. He focuses particularly on the changing domestic political interactions among parties, party leaders, and labor and capital in developing nations. He draws upon large time-series datasets as well as cross-national survey data analysis to test hypotheses. Then, looking more closely at Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, he also provides comparative case-study evidence, such as within-country data on trade barriers and campaign contributions. The most comprehensive treatment of the subject to date, Democracy and Trade Policy in Developing Countries will be essential reading for scholars and policymakers alike, not only for the understanding it provides for trading strategies now, but for what it reveals about the prospects for international economic cooperation in the future.
About the Author
Bumba Mukherjee is associate professor of political science at Pennsylvania State University and a visiting fellow at the University of Notre Dameandrsquo;s Kellogg Institute For International Studies. He is the coauthor of two books: Democracy, Electoral Systems, and Judicial Empowerment in Developing Countries and The Politics of Corruption in Authoritarian Regimes.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
2and#160;Theoretical Framework and Methodological Approach
3and#160;Strategy for Redistribution and Poverty Reduction
4and#160;The Development of Social Policy Regimes in the ISI Period
5and#160;The Determinants of Social Spending, Inequality, and Poverty: Quantitative Evidence
6and#160;Neoliberal Reforms and the Turn to Basic Universalism
7and#160;Iberia and the Advanced Latin American Social Policy Regimes: Explaining the Different Trajectories