Chapter

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

Fernando Filgueira and Jorge Papadópulos

in The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780198781837
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598968 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198781830.003.0015

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

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

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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

Chapter.  12573 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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