Development, Democracy, and Welfare States

December 12, 2008 - 4:00 pm

Robert R. Kaufman, Rutgers University

Desmond Arias, The Graduate Center, CUNY

In this talk, Professor Kaufman will discuss main findings and conclusions from Development, Democracy and Welfare States: Latin America, East Asia and Eastern Europe (Princeton University Press, 2008). In this book, Kaufman and Haggard compare the different welfare paths of the countries in Latin America, East Asia and Eastern Europe following democratiza­tion and the move toward more open economies. They show how exclusionary welfare systems and economic crisis in Latin America created incentives to adopt liberal social policy reforms, while social entitlements from the communist era limited the scope of liberal reforms in the new democracies of Eastern Europe. The book highlights the importance of placing the contem­porary effects of democratization and globalization into a broader historical context.

“A masterly analysis of how political interests, economic circumstances, development strategies, and local history have shaped what are surprisingly different versions of the welfare state across the developing world.”

— Nancy Birdsall, President of the Center for Global Development