T04P03 - Policy Change: Revisiting the Past, Analyzing Contemporary Processes and Stimulating Inter-temporal Comparisons

Topic : Problems and Agenda Setting

Panel Chair : Mauricio Olavarria-Gambi - mauricio.olavarria@usach.cl

Panel Second Chair : MARIA VELASCO - maria.velasco@cps.ucm.es

Panel Third Chair : Verónica Figueroa Huencho - v.figueroa.h@iap.uchile.cl

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1 Policy Making and Implementation


Verónica Figueroa Huencho - v.figueroa.h@iap.uchile.cl - University of Chile - Chile

Mauricio Olavarria-Gambi - mauricio.olavarria@usach.cl - University of Santiago, Chile - Chile

Indigenous Public policy implementation: changes and interaction between formal and informal institutions

Verónica Figueroa Huencho - v.figueroa.h@iap.uchile.cl - University of Chile - Chile

How indigenous public policies are implemented? Which variables have been relevant in this process? How institutions (formal and informal) influence the policy process? These and other questions acquire particular significance in light constraints that have public policy approaches when targeting culturally distinct peoples. Different studies have demonstrated how important the indigenous policy formulation phase is in the current living conditions of these indigenous people, which shows, as a rule, how isolated they have been from the State formulation and from those public policy processes which affect their development. This situation has meant incremental loss of land, failure of community economies, loss of rights and representation, and marginalization from the political process, among others. However, little is known regarding the process of implementation of indigenous public policy and the impact of formal and informal institutions in their outcomes, the role of managers and bureaucrats and their values, interests and beliefs, among others. The objective of this presentation is to provide a theoretical and empirical framework to a better understanding of the change process in indigenous public policies, with a special focus on Chilean case. The analytical model will be “representative bureaucracy” and the specific case of “Ley 19.253”. This is expected contribute to the construction of new approaches, which promote proper analysis to the study of indigenous public policies in the current context, without losing sight of the dynamism that characterizes the political process when they operate in a context of cultural diversity.


CATHERINE ROWEEN ALMADEN - calmaden@xu.edu.ph - Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan - Philippines

Like most countries, the Philippines has implemented the integrated river basin management approach. The management of river basins is operationalized through the river basin organizations (RBOs). Five management regimes have been implemented, reflecting specific functions, needs and opportunities, from the widely autonomous agency to a variety of commissions, councils and committees, as well as multi-sector project management offices. The paper provided an assessment of the management regimes of various existing and abolished or inactive river basin organizations in the country. The chosen RBOs represent the five management regimes. The paper discussed the legal and institutional framework, the outcomes of the projects of the various RBOs, the best practices implemented and challenges encountered. The experiences of the various RBOs invariably confirm the benefits of water resources management founded on strong policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks, inter-sectoral coordination, inter-agency collaboration and functional public participation.

“Legislative Oversight and its Influence in Policy Making and Policy Reforms in the Philippine Education and Agriculture Sectors”

Portia Silang - psilang@yahoo.com - Philippine House of Representatives - Philippines

Portia P. Silang, “Legislative Oversight and its Influence in Policy Making and Policy Reforms in the Philippine Education and Agriculture Sectors”   (A Dissertation Research Proposal), University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance



Legislative oversight remains a potent function of Congress which affect much the development of democracy and shaping of public policy. However, there is a dearth of studies on its influence on policy making, policy reform, and policy control. Much of the literature has discussed extensively what oversight is and its tools; its significance in properly functioning democratic regimes, and what conditions might favor oversight.  Less attention has been paid to whether legislative oversight has any impact, and what kind of impact it has, on the functioning of political system (Pelizzo and Stapenhurst, 2006).[1]


The impact and effectiveness of the congressional oversight can be measured in terms of the quantity and quality of legislative policies formulated and the executive actions thereafter. With the lack of in-depth oversight studies in the Philippine context, the research proposal attempts to examine the dynamics between Congress and the Executive with regards to legislative oversight using the Principal-Agent Theory, and its conduct through an evaluation model which consider the contexts influencing its conduct; the mechanisms of congressional oversight; and the outcomes of oversight work.


The study endeavors to explore how legislative oversight can be utilized to become an effective instrument of policy making and policy reforms using the outcomes of the congressional reviews by the Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) and Congressional Commission on Agriculture (AGRICOM). EDCOM and AGRICOM’s experiences illustrated an almost complete cycle of legislative review (ex post), enactment of necessary legislations (ex ante), and then  ex post oversight to guarantee the legislative intent of the law. Tracking the legislative policies formulated by the Philippine Congress from the 9th to 15th Congresses (21 years tracking) based on their recommendations will be done and validated, especially those which radically changed existing policies in the two sectors. Those recommendations which remained unacted will be also analyzed.


Three important questions will be addressed by the study: How was legislative oversight made to work, through ex ante and ex post mechanisms, as an effective instrument of policymaking and policy reform in the Philippine education and agriculture sectors? How does the confluence of the individual, institutional and environmental factors determine Congress’ behaviour to oversee? What does Congress accomplish in its efforts to oversee?  These, though behavioural as they may seem, sum up the more specific questions with regards to the effectiveness of legislative oversight as a democratic accountability tool in administrative reforms and the influence congressional oversight  has in policy making and policy reform.


              This abstract is being submitted to this panel because of the changes in policies governing the education and agriculture sectors brought about by the oversight of Philippine Congress with the Executive.

[1] R. Pelizzo and R. Stapenhurst. (2004).  “Tools for Legislative Oversight: An Empirical Investigation”, World Bank Policy Research Working paper 3388.


The Morrill Land Grant Acts and the Roots of Higher Educational Opportunity for African-Americans

Deondra Rose - deondra.rose@duke.edu - Duke University - United States

Since 1837, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have provided one of the most significant sources of higher educational opportunity in the United States, especially for African Americans. Extending valuable educational opportunities to free blacks and newly freed slaves after the Civil War, HBCUs were an integral part of the nation’s rebuilding efforts during the Reconstruction era. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the federal government played a central role in the development of black colleges, and the creation of the Morrill Land Grant Acts of 1862 and 1890 was crucial to this development. Although the first Morrill Act of 1862 led to the establishment of higher educational institutions that disproportionately catered to white students, Black students would gain targeted support under the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1890. Under this policy, lawmakers provided funds to support the creation of nineteen land grant HBCUs and required states operating segregated college systems to offer equal institutional opportunities for white and black students, thereby generating additional growth in the number of colleges serving African Americans. Given African-Americans’ marginalized status in American politics and public policymaking institutions during the period, the extent to which the second Morrill Land Grant Act expanded educational opportunity for black Americans represents an interesting puzzle. Why did lawmakers create an empowering system of higher education for African-Americans in 1890—a post-Reconstruction political moment characterized by violently repressive backlash against black Americans, especially in the South? Using a combination of primary and secondary sources including the Congressional Globe, the Congressional Record, memoirs, and historical newspapers, and other historical documents, this paper investigates the political development of the Morrill Land Grant Acts and the features of policy design that shaped their impact on educational opportunity for African Americans. In analyzing the development of these path-breaking programs, this paper takes seriously the political factors shaping the government’s role in establishing what would constitute the core of higher educational opportunity for African-Americans for nearly a century.

Are urban policies all changing? Changes and continuities after the new local government in Madrid

Rosa M. De la Fuente - rdelafuente@ucm.es - Complutense University of Madrid - Spain


One of the typical factor considered as a driver for the public policies´ change is the arrival of a new government. In Madrid City, the triumph of a coalition of civil organizations and political parties, called Ahora Madrid, was enveloped with the halo of introducing deep changes in the priorities of the local government. New discourses about the city model, “a city for the citizens not for profit”, and also new ideas about how to improve urban policies and provisioning services were spread.

After two years of governing, it is already possible to analyze to what extent, in different arenas, the new government has been able to modify the content of previous urban policy actions. The main aim of this paper is to compare several sectoral policies in order to analyze factors and strategies developed by decision makers.

Reforms are here understood as planned proactive and even breaking-path processes, with a non-linear dynamics or a non-evolutionary change, which may be fostered both inside and/or outside its organizational dimension, and even due changes at policy the domain level. 

The study case will let us to observe the factors usually considered in the literature as change drivers and its real influence in order to get conclusions about resistance and change in relation with urban and local public policies.

Session 2 Policy History



Verónica Figueroa Huencho - v.figueroa.h@iap.uchile.cl - University of Chile - Chile

Tackling Structural Change: the Evolution Industry Policy in Australia - a Historic Institutionalist Perspective

Flavia Hanlen - flavia.hanlen@canberra.edu.au - Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra - Australia

Much has been said about the current rapid rate of technological change, globalization, de-industrialization and structural change. But technological change is ubiquitous and structural change is an ever-present feature of capitalist systems. What role does public policy play in continuous economic transformation? How does public policy respond to or promote continuous structure change? How does this role change over time and what are the key ideational, institutional, political, social and economic factors that underlie such policies and generate particular policy solutions. These policies form the realm of industry policy and aim to promote particular activities, technology change and facilitate structural change (Rodrik 2014).


This paper aim examines the changes of industry policy in Australia as a result of the tension between local, historic embedded institutional framework and the hegemonic ideas framework, creating a particular political economic nexus that potentially evolves within path dependent processes. It uses the Historical Institutionalist Framework to capture long-term policy development and change. Shifts in policy preferences and policy change are embedded in temporal processes and occur in a policy space that is already populated with existing practices, institutions, expectations, networks and ideas.


As Peters, Pierre, and King (2005, p.1297) argues, “understanding policy change in a historical institutionalist perspective requires a careful analysis not only of the ideas that drive change but also the larger social, economic and political context in which these ideas are situated.”. The challenge is to explain the trajectory of policy development by understanding the relationships between institutions, ideas and agency.


This paper maps the change in the role, objectives and institutions of industry policy in Australia between 1970 and 2015, as well as the underlying ideational, economic and political factors of this change. Using document analysis and historical statistical data, this paper aims to explore:

·      The relationship among institutions, ideas, and agency in explaining the trajectory of policy development;

·      Public policies as institutions;

·      Industry policy as embedded in an institutional, political and socio economic framework;

·      The use of political and economic discourses (as tools of authority and legitimacy) to enable and constrain industry policy   development and change;

·      How ideas about the role of the state in the economy influence industry policy in Australia;



Peters, B. Guy, Jon Pierre, and Desmond S. King. 2005. “The Politics of Path Dependency: Political Conflict in Historical Institutionalism.” The Journal of Politics 67 (4): 1275–1300. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2005.00360.x.


Rodrik, Dani. 2014. “Normalizing Industrial Policy.” http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/drodrik/Research papers/Industrial Policy _Growth Commission_.pdf.


Revisiting the trajectory of Spanish colonialism in the Philippines: Consequences for modern-day institutions and policy development

Gonzalez Eduardo - edtgonzalez@yahoo.com - University of the Philippines - Philippines

The project


As often as not, colonial rule led to long term harmful consequences, including the varying incapacity of former colonies to adjust to self government or the incontestably negative effects of resource extraction.  Yet, at the same time, colonialism shaped their ability to perform through a considerable history of Eurocentric state structure and bureaucratic culture. Colonialism was not simply an instrument of repression and constraint—according to Foucault—but creatively gave particular form to institutional subjectivities in ways which had enduring postcolonial implications (James & Schrauwers, 2003).


The paper explores the role of the colonial experience as an exogenous determinant of modern outcomes across countries in general and in the Philippines, in particular. From the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565 until 1898, the Philippines was the only Spanish Catholic colony in Asia. Tha paper also examines the consequences of colonizer influence for regional policy coordination.


The research question


Taking off from Feyrer & Sacerdote (2006), the study hypothesizes that current progress in former colonies varies exogenously by the identity of the colonizer: an apparent pecking order amongst the colonial powers had large consequences for the colonial institutional building they pursued, and, in due course, the developmental policy legacies they left behind—with years under British, French and Dutch rule having more advantageous effects than Spanish rule. The paper also theorizes that the periodization of colonialism matters, that is, institutional quality improved as colonialism progressed, consistent with the rise of the European Enlightenment and 19th century modernism. 




Econometric exercises―involving years of colonization and the nationality of the colonizers as well as contemporary growth, human development and environmental governance variables―will form the basis for scrutinizing the institutional trajectory of an “inferior” Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, and how it significantly contributes to the explanation of marked differences in governance and policy development between the Philippines and its key Asian neighbors, particularly, Indonesia, Malaysia, and an emergent Vietnam, whose Dutch, British and French colonial legacies, respectively, are supposedly more favorable for latter-day progress.  If the hypotheses hold, the study will suggest ways on how the Philippines can wend its way through a “noodle bowl” tangle of varying colonial policy traditions within Southeast Asia.




The paper hews closely to the panel objective of analyzing the characteristics or conditions leading to policy changes.  The paper will do it along historical lines, examining how institutions that developed over time influence the policy process in the Philippines and neighboring Southeast Asian countries.  It will explore options on how path-dependent policy traditions can progressively embrace path-breaking processes.

Understanding the policy dynamics in the Arab Gulf States thirty years after the "Rentier State" theory

Kassem El Saddik - kassem.elsaddik@carleton.ca - Carleton University - Canada

In an attempt to understand the policymaking processes in the oil rich Arab Gulf States[1] (AGS), the paper provides an account of the “Rentier State” theory that was believed to influence the political dynamics and policy making in the region. It challenges its classical notion, as laid down by Mehdavi (1979) and then Beblawi (1987), and contends that it provides a static and over-simplistic model in delineating the relationship between the rent (derived from a natural resource, mostly oil and gas) and the prevailing political ruling and public management in the AGS monarchies[2]. The paper criticizes the theory for being narrowly framed and accounting for neither for the historical and geopolitical context[3] nor the external regional and global changes, let alone the cultural and domestic dynamics that influence the Gulf region.

Against these factors, the paper critically explores the notion of “Late Rentierism”[4] introduced by Matthew Gray in 2011 and analyses its key features. While it acknowledges the latter, the paper concurs with Gray that “rentierism” is a dynamic state-society relation, rather than a structural characteristic of the state. It argues that, in addition to Gray's seven features, five more critical aspects are fundamental to be accounted for in order to better understand the political dynamics in the Arab Gulf State 30 years after the inception of the theory. They are namely (1) citizenship, culture and nationality and the associated (2) rentier mentality; (3) kinship-centered governance; (4) the relationship with the Islamic movements and (5) environmental sustainability. 

[1] The Arab Gulf States are the six states that constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). They are: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
[2] Brynen, Rex, Bahgat Korany, Paul Noble. (1998). Political Liberalization and Democratization in the Arab World. Vol. 2. Comparative Experiences. Boulder: Lynne Rienner
[3] Davis, Eric. (1991). Theorizing Statecraft and Social Change in Arab Oil Producing Counties. In Davis, Eric and Gavrielidis, Nicolas (eds). Statecraft in the Middle East: Oil, Historical Memories and Popular Culture. Florida International University Press.
[4] Gray, Matthew. (2011). A Theory of Late Rentierism in the Arab States of the Gulf. Georgetown University School of Foreign Studies in Qatar, Center for Regional and International Studies, Occasional Paper No. 7, 2011.

Who cares about Reddit? Historical institutionalism and the fight against SOPA and PIPA.

Cartwright Madison - madison.cartwright@sydney.edu.au - University of Sydney - Australia

On May 12th 2011 the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) was introduced to the United States Senate boasting 31 sponsors from both the Democratic and Republican Party and a list of approximately 190 supporters, including pharmaceutical companies, Hollywood studios, software companies, manufacturers, unions, sporting codes among many others. By January 2012 PIPA, along with counterpart in the House of Representatives known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) had become politically toxic and was indefinitely shelved. Many have attributed this dramatic shift to the widespread backlash against these ‘internet breaking’ bills that had emerged from online organising spaces and technology news blogs. A single post on the popular forum Reddit resulted in a boycott of SOPA-supporting internet domain registrar and web hosting company Go Daddy that saw the company lose 21,000 domains in a single day, forcing it to abandon its support some 48 hours later. This is one example of the sort of organising and actions that emerged from these so-called ‘netizens’, activists dedicated to a free and open internet. While the anti-SOPA and PIPA actions do show a genuine phenomenon of the growing political impact of the internet this paper argues that their role in the failure of the bills was actually quite limited. Applying a historical institutionalist approach the paper argues that the bills failed primarily due to the decision of the internet industry, which had at the time emerged as a political coalition with its own distinct interests, to veto the reforms. This fits with how copyright in the United States has been reformed to address new technologies for over a hundred years. Under this analysis, the failure of PIPA and SOPA is not surprising or particularly unusual.

The role of technocrats in the Chilean Public Management Modernization Policy of 1920s

Mauricio Olavarria-Gambi - mauricio.olavarria@usach.cl - University of Santiago, Chile - Chile

It is commonly said that one main characteristic of the new Chilean democracy, that re-emerging in 1990, is the technocratic influence in the policy making process and that the old Chilean democracy, the one that existed from 1925 to 1973, had been more open to citizen’s participation and with no technocratic influence. However, new evidence shows that technocrats have been similarly influential in both Chilean democratic periods. The paper focuses on the policy-making process of the public management reform of the 1920s and discusses on the role played by the Kemmerer Mission and the Chilean technocrats in this policy endeavor.

Session 3 Policy Change


Mauricio Olavarria-Gambi - mauricio.olavarria@usach.cl - University of Santiago, Chile - Chile

Verónica Figueroa Huencho - v.figueroa.h@iap.uchile.cl - University of Chile - Chile

Policy Entrepreneurship and Policy Change: A Critique of Punctuated Equilibrium Theory

Gordon Shockley - shockley@asu.edu - Arizona State U. - United States

What is the role of policy entrepreneurship in punctuated equilibrium theory (PET) for policy studies?  In their powerful development of PET for policy studies, Baumgartner and Jones seem to place policy entrepreneurship front and center.  Building on William Riker’s and John Kingdon’s earlier groundbreaking work on the idea of policy entrepreneurship, Baumgartner and Jones depict policy entrepreneurs in Agendas and Instability in American Politics (p. 42) as the manipulators of policy images and venues so as “to alter other people's understandings of the issues in which they deal” (p. 42).  Similarly, in their subsequent edited volume Policy Dynamics (2002a), Baumgartner and Jones more closely specify policy entrepreneurship as “the willingness of a political actor to invest resources in a given lobbying struggle is likely to be related to two things: The probability of success (which is related to expected behaviors of other actors involved), and the expected benefits” (MacLeod, 2002, p. 22).  Yet, a careful reading of Baumgartner and Jones’ theoretical work on PET reveals that policy entrepreneurship seems at most incidental in Baumgartner and Jones’ PET.  This paper will develop this argument as a critique of Baumgartner and Jones’ PET for policy studies by exploring the role of policy entrepreneurship and its relationship to policy change in their model.  Crucial insights will also be gleaned by assessing PET’s development in other fields, most notably in the paleobiology of Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge (Eldredge & Gould, 1972; Stephen Jay Gould, 1992, 2002) from which the idea of PET originates.  

Bureaucrats as Policy Entrepreneurships: An Exploratory Study About Policy Change in Modernization of Public Management Reform in Chile

Juan Araya - jpabloaraya@iap.uchile.cl - Instituto de Asuntos Públicos - Chile

Public Policy literature has recognized the influence of so-called “Policy Entrepreneurs” in the processes of policy change. Kingdon (1985), one of the first to introduce the concept of entrepreneurs into public policy process theory, defines them as "advocates for proposals or for the prominence of ideas". For Kingdon, policy entrepreneurs would have a fundamental role in promoting the convergence of different streams (problem, policy and political stream), and are capable of promoting the occurrence of the policy window, for policy change. On the other hand, according to Baumgartner and Jones (1991, 1993), in their "Punctuated Equilibrium Theory", they recognize that the policy change happens in short periods where conditions radically change. In these periods, policy entrepreneur would act through the manipulation of policy images, reframing the definition of the public problem, giving new visions on how to define a public problem. On the other hand Sabatier (1998), through "Advocacy Coalition Framework", emphasizes the role of different coalitions that fight between them. Within these coalitions, actors act in different policy subsystems, including policy-entrepreneurs, seeking to build new coalitions in the face of external change processes, and to engage in negotiations with other policy subsystems.


The three approaches mentioned above point out that policy entrepreneurs are generally political or civil society actors, relegating bureaucrats to a minor role in the implementation of public policy. However, new studies have evidenced the active role of bureaucrats as policy entrepreneurs, activating processes of policy change. Daniel Carpentier (2001), through the historical analysis of the American bureaucracy (1862-1928), defines how certain processes of innovation and policy change were influenced by bureaucrats who achieved bureaucratic autonomy in their performance. More recent studies have highlighted the role of bureaucrats as policy-entrepreneurs in water policy change processes (Brouwer, 2015, Considine and Lewis, 2007).


The aim of this paper is to explore the role of bureaucrats as policy entrepreneurs in the Modernization of Public Management policy in Chile in two historical milestones: the reform of public administration in the period between 1925 and 1931 and between 1990 and 2010. Through this study, we seek to explore in the mechanisms used by bureaucrats to influence processes of policy change and the relationship with other actors around this policy. The purpose of the study is to analyze processes of continuity and differences between these two historical periods.



Military Austerity and Policy Change in Small, High Income, and Peaceful Countries

Carlos Solar - carlos.solar@york.ac.uk - University of York - United Kingdom

Although scholars have studied the budgeting of defence and its effects on developing countries, there is a lack of in-depth explorations on what occurs to nations once they transition to a higher developmental stage and become more democratic, financially sustainable, and averse to the idea of conflict and war. Our analysis suggests that smaller, peaceful and high income countries experience policy changes regarding defence expenditure. We argue that budgetary priorities tend to not to favour the military when in presence of more robust institutional veto powers and lesser perception of security threats. We use the case of Chile to study how since its redemocratisation in 1990, and after entering the OECD in 2008, policy changes in the defense sector have caused expenditure to drop as a share of GDP, meanwhile the nation has become richer. We emphasise in pending issues for civil-military relations that result from the military austery trade-off, such as, transparency and accountability of budgeting, the politicization of defence policy, and the role expected from a less-resourced military. The findings are relevant to students of public policy, civil-military relations, and governance studies.

Explaining changes in the labour market policy-making in Georgia and Armenia

Ana Diakonidze - ana.diakonidze@gmail.com - Tbilisi State University - Georgia

Proposed paper seeks to analyse the conditions leading to major changes in the labour market policy making in the neighbouring republics of Georgia and Armenia. These two countries in the south Caucasus copied “western” labor market institutions and policies in the early 90s after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. However, their policy paths differed dramatically ever since that point. In 2006 a radical right-wing government in Georgia abolished all labour market institutions after coming to power through famous “Rose Revolution” and maintained an ultra-liberal approach. Such a policy change is unprecedented in the post-soviet space. In 2012 however, the new government decided to restore these institutions and started putting them back. Unlike Georgia, Armenia kept all labour market institutions established in early 90’s throughout the previous decades despite the fiscal constraints it faced for maintaining them. However, it followed the path of Georgia in 2014 with the abolition of the unemployment benefits system and liberalisation of the labor code. Interestingly, these processes in Armenia were not preceded by any major change in its political leadership (unlike Georgia).


The main aim of the paper is to explain what were the preconditions for multiple policy changes in Georgia and Armenia. Most importantly I look into the question why the liberalisation efforts took place in Armenia with such a delay. In order to answer these questions the article applies Advocacy Coalition Framework and neo institutional analysis to study the two country cases. The paper is based on 24 in-depth interviews with the policy-makers and the document review. The findings reveal that weak institutional development in the region is a conducive factor for drastic policy changes. Deeper analysis shows that labour market institutions throughout this period have been superficial - they existed only on paper, while their real impact on the population has been almost negligible. Since the formal institutions could not serve the needs of the population, the informal institutions filled the void: for instance, even today personal networks of friends and relatives remains the most trusted source for finding a job, while many do not even know about the existence of the employment centres.


The paper concludes that inability to develop formal institutional base in these countries made sweeping policy changes rather easy to implement, as the abolition of superficial institutions provoked no public protest. On the other hand, this development further strengthened the importance of informal arrangements.

The Normative Blocking to the public policy change in the Post Authoritarian Chile and South Africa

Rommy Morales Olivares - rommymorales@gmail.com - UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA - Spain

In countries such as Chile in LatinAmerica and South Africa on the African continent,
drastic processes of democratisation occurred during the 1990s, accompanied by radical processes of economic liberalisation. These processes assumed a neoliberal character that generated a development pattern characterised by substantial market reforms and a reduction of state functions.
After their authoritarian periods, apartheid (SouthAfrica) and the military dictatorship (Chile), the economic trajectories can be considered successful when judged by its results, namely, a decrease in poverty and an increase of the gross domestic product (GDP). However, these countries have maintained high levels of inequality.
The adjustments and reforms of the authoritarian periods, have generated particular
phenomenon with normative character. The aim of this paper is to develop an understanding of the manner in which economic policies in postauthoritarian societies are influenced by policies formulated during authoritarian periods, as well as the normative mechanisms that lead to the continuity of an economic policy framework that allows the perpetuation of social inequality. There is an emphasis on processes and normative mechanism for this continuity, and the communicative norms, that have constituted a particular kind of capitalist development in postauthoritarian countries.
The economic situation of Chile and South Africa is characterised by the presence of
strong political coalitions left of centre, the African National Congress, in South Africa and the Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia (NuevaMayoría) in Chile, whose elites mostly belong to the groups of actors who were oppressed during the authoritarian period. Both coalitions govern in the new context of democracy with a high availability of resources enhancing economic potential, and also in a context of high dependency on foreign economies
and the global capitalist growth of the 1990s.
Two normative mechanisms of institutional continuity, which may serve as hypotheses
to explain, the neoliberal trajectories, are highlighted.The first mechanism is "The Seduction of Potential Political Opposition": In both cases, a limitation of the scope for democratic competition emerged on during the postauthoritarian democracy as a combined consequence of the structure of electoral support after the end of oppression and the particular institutionalisation of the rules of democratic representation. The effect was a very weak presence of radical critics of neoliberal economic policymaking, even though such critics had strong voices during times of resistance. The result was roughly the same in both cases. The second mechanism is "The Dark Side of Moral Capital": A major underlying mechanism for this non-progressive immobility is the presence of unequally held moral capital in the post- oppression polity and the dark side of the mobilisation of such moral capital. Recent debates in political theory have often referred to the mobilising and uplifting potential of keeping the memory of past injustice alive in the present. When, however, the rememorisation becomes a form of discursive moral capital not binding to any political action, and when, in turn, criticism of the government becomes illegitimate because of the condition of the current governing elites as formerly oppressed and even persecuted groups in society.

“Deregulation policies and the PRization of the Chilean media system ”.



It is argued that as the process of globalization is occurring, a new paradox of interconnected but fragmented, specialized and privatized publics and corporations with consumerist interests and values arise.

The commercialized nature of new mass media along recent multimedia platforms and outlets has played an important role in such phenomena. In the case of Latin-American democracies, including Chile, such commercialization has been prompted since the 1970´s and fostered since the return to democracy, by successive liberal governmental policies. A deregulation process thought to remove or reduce any estate regulation in what was considered a political minded and ideologically constructed media system unfolded. Communications infrastructure modernized, advertisement was placed as the key stone of financial sustainability, cost-effective and vertically integrated private media ownership was encouraged, depoliticized media outlets emerged, and a new public sphere replicating the same dynamics and relations conducted in other western societies came to light. Since then, new corporate media CEOs and editors tend to define their contents and emphasis on what is profitable and attractive to increasingly demanding and volatile “media consumers”. Moreover, a PRization process that entails the intensive use of public relations (PR) tools and resources by members of the economic and political elite such as press conferences, targeted publicity or corporate events, has emerged as a dynamic conceived to convince these audiences. But with every policy, political or social actor and discourse being sold through PR techniques, soundbites, or soft traits, comes also a state of general distrust and disaffection.

Through a descriptive analysis, this paper not only addresses a PRization process of the Chilean media system as the result of recent deregulation policies. Furthermore, it points out the danger of such policies, as they seem to be fabricating consent instead of laying the ground for building shared cultural-relevant meaning, the essence of communication.

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