Progressive Pragmatism as a Governance Model

Susan Eva Eckstein and Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley

in What Justice? Whose Justice?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520237445
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936980 | DOI:
Progressive Pragmatism as a Governance Model

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The dominant Latin American neoliberal governance model failed at multiple levels. In response, an alternative emerged at the municipal level, for addressing the problems emerging out of neoliberal policies. This model derived from the theory of pragmatic liberalism which posits that democratic process and efficiency outcomes are equally important to good governance, is known as progressive pragmatism. It forms the subject of this chapter, which posits that the model centers on specific combination of popular participation in decision-making with prudent fiscal policies. Specifically, it focuses on a governance model incorporating participatory budgeting and policies founded upon technocratic expertise. Hyperinflation, disorganized overspending on the poorer sections, and a loose monetary policy preceding the 1980s debt crisis were appropriated by the neoliberal advocates to advance their form of governance as the only feasible alternative. It reflected the laxity of the traditional Left in identifying and addressing the shortfalls.

Keywords: pragmatic liberalism; progressive pragmatism; technocratic expertise; traditional Left; popular participation; monetary policy

Chapter.  6035 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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