Latin American States and What (Sometimes) Makes them Work: A View from Colombia
Latin American states have been described as being stuck in a "middle-quality institutional trap." They are not totally incompetent or predatory, but neither are they remarkably effective or welfare-enhancing. Focusing on Colombia, long described as having a "weak" or "fragile" state, Juan Diego Prieto (Oden Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Carleton) is interested in why this middling state of state performance persists, as well as in the conditions under which their performance exceeds expectations.
In this talk, he will discuss two research projects that address these questions. One focuses on the drivers of effective state service provision in (mostly rural) localities impacted by extractive, agroindustrial, and hydroelectric projects. The other one examines city governments' social protection responses to the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasizes the importance of coalition-building across the state-society divide as well as multilevel political competition for co-producing or compelling welfare-enhancing state intervention.