Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Think Tanks y Pobreza en América Latina: el rol de los pensadores en el mercado de las políticas sociales en Argentina, Chile y México

Uña, Gerardo and Lupica, Carina and Strazza, Luciano (2009): Think Tanks y Pobreza en América Latina: el rol de los pensadores en el mercado de las políticas sociales en Argentina, Chile y México.

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The high levels of poverty and inequity that affect a large portion of Latin American population is among the main issues that the region faces. According to CEPAL (2007), 36,5% of the population of the region (194 million) is below the poverty line, while 13,4% (71 million) is below the extreme poverty line. Even though this issue has been present in the public policy agenda for a long time, it is in the last decades that the repeated socio economic crisis that affected the region have significantly increased the concern for this issue. Without doubt, finding solutions for such a wide and complex matter -as is the lack of resources and opportunities of a great portion of the population- requires a significant effort, not only from governments and public bureaucracies, but also from a wider range of actors that can participate and offer alternatives to face and gradually solve the problem.

In this context, social policies are of great relevance for helping reduce poverty, specially considering the weakening of formal labour as the main source of social integration. In this context, the role that different actors play, including government, academic institutions, think tanks or other civil society organizations constitutes an aspect that should be analyzed in greater depth. However, even though the significant relevance of social policies, and the increasing participation of different civil society institutions that produce knowledge and try to influence policy decisions, the ways in which these actors participate in the social policy process is a subject of study which has been insufficiently explored.

The premise is that analyzing and better understanding the role and interests of all actors involved in the social public policy process leads to a better understanding the results obtained with such policies. Taking this into account, the objective of this research is to make a first approach in the analysis of the means and levels of involvement of think tanks and individual Experts in the area –specialists, academics, or professional researchers- in the different stages of social policy making in Latin America.

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