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Journal Special Issue Call for Papers: November 24th, 2014 - January 9th, 2015

Public Policy Changes in Latin America - ÍCONOS - Revista de Ciencias Sociales

Call for papers:Public Policy Changes in Latin America
ÍCONOS - Revista de Ciencias Sociales
Article Submission: November 24th, 2014 - January 9th, 2015
Publication: September 2015

Guillaume Fontaine, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales
Mauricio Olavarría, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Latin America is a stage for intense political changes, driven especially by what has been called the region’s “left turn,” as inaugurated almost two decades ago with "progressive governments” in Venezuela, and later in Brazil, Uruguay, and Ecuador, among others. The political science field has documented this phenomenon extensively, given its implications for democracy, the evolution of political participation, and the crisis of the traditional political parties. This has also become a subject of interest in sociology, which has traditionally been concerned with social movements and the relationship between civil society and the State in this region. Likewise, it has been analyzed extensively by the field of economics, perhaps because it concerns the crisis of capitalism and the search for an alternative development model oriented toward wellbeing, sustainability, and equity.

Nevertheless, this literature says little about the public policies that bring these changes into effect. In particular, it neither sufficiently addresses the role played by ideas, interests and institutions in the change, nor does it address the meaning and magnitude of the latter. Why do policies change? In what sense and to what extent? What obstacles do these policies confront in order to change? How irreversible is this change? These are the questions we would like to address in this dossier.

Many different frameworks are used in political analysis to approach these issues. Some emphasize the role of non-state actors in decision-making, such as in the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and in discursive political analysis. Others emphasize the interests of strategic actors in the creation and transformation of institutions to facilitate social relations, such as the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. Finally, others are concerned with the influence of institutions in policy changes, such as the path dependency and punctuated equilibrium models.

We are interested in contrasting the contributions of these distinct approaches, beginning with the analysis of empirical situations that span the policy changes at a macro level (institutional reform), meso level (implementation strategies) and micro level (understanding of technical instruments).

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