Technocracy and Democracy in Latin America: The Experts Running Government
By: Eduardo Dargent (author)Hardback
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Praised by some as islands of efficiency in a sea of unprofessional, politicized and corrupt states, and criticized by others for removing wide areas of policy making from the democratic arena, technocrats have become prominent and controversial actors in Latin American politics. Nonelected state officials with advanced educations from top universities, technocrats achieve considerable autonomy from political and economic actors and exert great influence over their countries' fates. This finding poses an intriguing paradox. These experts lack an independent base of authority, such as popular election, and the tenure enjoyed by professional bureaucrats. What, then, explains the power of technocrats in democratic Latin America? Why do they enjoy and maintain greater policy influence in some areas than in others? Through analysis of economic and health policy in Colombia from 1958 to 2011 and in Peru from 1980 to 2011, Technocracy and Democracy in Latin America answers these and other questions about experts in Latin America.
Eduardo Dargent is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. His main teaching and research interests are comparative public policy and democratization and the state in the developing world. He has published in Comparative Politics, the Journal of Latin American Studies, and the Journal of Politics in Latin America.
1. Introduction: technocracy under democracy; 2. Technocrats in Latin American democracies: agents or actors?; 3. A theory of technocratic autonomy; 4. Economic technocrats in Colombia (1958-2011); 5. Economic technocrats in Peru (1980-3; 1990-2011); 6. Health technocrats in Colombia (1966-70; 1993-2013); 7. Health technocrats in Peru (1990-2002); 8. Conclusion: technocratic autonomy, its limits, and democracy in Latin America.
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