Opportunities and Challenges for Social Policy in Latin America

Fernando Filgueira is Senior Researcher at Information and Social Studies Centre of Uruguay (CIESU). http://www.ciesu.edu.uy

This paper is based on Dr. Filgueira’s presentation at the EU-LAC Foundation's discussion forum “Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of changes: Opportunities and challenges for the EU”, which took place in Berlin on the 6th of March 2014.

Latin America is undergoing a profound transformation of its social policies and of the very concept of social citizenship. It is in this context and these challenges that the possibility of a new social citizenship based on robust public goods, expansion of merit goods and universality of entitlements emerges. In order to craft truly universal social policies narrow corporatism and restricted targeting - and the political economy they sustain - have to be confronted as well. If this is achieved then, popular-­middle class alliance can be forged; a distributional coalition that will in turn give political support and economic feasibility to a path of prosperity and increased equality of opportunity and outcome. Read paper