Focal Study 3: The Role of the State in the Structuring and Negotiation of Subnational Inequalities

This study explores the specific ways in which national governments and subnational units can play a role in shaping global and transnational interdependencies. As previous work in desiguALdades.net has shown, booming commodity prices have changed both the way in which social inequalities are structured and the capacity for negotiation of Latin American states. There is a growing expectation that states can use the increasing revenues from export of minerals, energy resources, and agricultural products to alleviate if not overcome some of the social and regional inequalities. At the same time there are also conflicts about access to and use of primary goods and the distribution and use of export profits within nations and among various subnational units.

Through within-case analysis of typical examples of state/natural resources exploration, this study will focus on three aspects that could help in interpreting the links between natural resources, state structure and public policy: (a) revenue extraction; (b) revenue distribution among levels of government; and (c) the relationship between these revenues and equalizing policies. The purpose is to determine in what degree the natural resources boom in Latin America is linked to state institutions, interacting and shaping both social and territorial forms of inequality.

This study builds on the findings from Research Dimension II: Socio-political Inequalities from the first phase of desiguALdades.net. Since governments at different levels must react to the challenges posed by the new revenues generated from external actors through the valorization of nature, in the context of norms set by international organizations, the results of this study will contribute to Cluster B and Cluster C, and Focal Study 2, Focal Study 4 and Focal Study 5.

Researcher: Rodrigo Rodrigues-Silveira

 

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