Download: Conference program
Is the state capable of reducing or eliminating inequalities, or is it a major factor in their production and reproduction? The assumption that the state is one of the most powerful and important actors for reducing inequalities and the resulting patterns of socio-economic (and political) exclusion dominates the mainstream literature on welfare state development in Latin America. Darker dimensions of state practices, however, are repeatedly brought to our attention. These range from the effects of selective targeting of welfare recipients, of the uneven territorial reach of social policy implementation, and of the use of law as a mechanism of exclusion of specific groups from access to public goods and services. These state practices suggest that far from reducing inequalities states actively contribute to their perpetuation.
This workshop turns to the state and state practices as objects of analysis, and seeks to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars in order to critically interrogate the state and state practices as active producers of social, cultural and political inequalities in Latin America. The discussion is organized along three interrelated sessions which are concerned with different dimensions of the state and state practices. Participants will address particular cases that speak to the wider, diverse regional context. The first session sets up the broad historical context in which we frame our discussion of Latin American states and state practices and their relation to questions of inequality. It is followed by two thematic sessions concerned with transformations in the current, neoliberal moment, but which are attentive to historical continuities and changes.
Due to restricted space the participation is limited. To attend the workshop, please register by e-mail to Elisabeth.Dittrich@fu-berlin.de.