Economy and Development

Regulatory Agencies and Courts in the Global South

June 24, 2015

In 2013, I authored what turned out to be the most read paper in the Journal of Politics in Latin America. It was a case study of the overlaps between the Water Regulatory Commission (CRA) and the Constitutional Court of Colombia. Regulatory issues are not the sexiest of topics in Latin American politics.

Discursos y Productividad Política en la Relación Agua y Megaminería

June 22, 2015

En las últimas dos décadas se observa una proliferación de conflictos socioambientales en relación a la expansión de la actividad minera en Latinoamérica. En este contexto, el agua se destaca como eje central y común denominador en las demandas de los movimientos sociales. En estas demandas, los discursos que prevalecen giran en torno a la escasez, la contaminación, la vulnerabilidad de los glaciares y el agua como elemento central del territorio.

Peace-Building through Tourism in Multicultural and Demilitarized Panama

June 8, 2015

The success of the tourism industry depends on government stability and an assurance of personal safety.[i] Not surprisingly, the industry responds immediately to political instability.  Even in post-conflict nations where histories of revolution and political uprising become tourism attractions (Babb 2011; Sánchez and Adams 2008), a degree of political and social stability is necessary to bring in tourism development.

Domestic Institutions, Professionalization and Compliance in Mexico

June 1, 2015

An active civil society is essential for any system in which governments are held accountable. Civil society groups are the challengers and communicators in a system which permits government to be challenged. They force governance issues into the open. But civil society can easily be thwarted by regulators, administrators, and others who are intent on preserving privileges or skewing priorities away from rule of law. Civil society needs certain corresponding elements to be in place in order to be effective.

Rousseff Plans for Austerity, Brazil Going Against Global Keynesian Trend

February 7, 2015

On Tuesday, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff pled for her cabinet to embrace fiscal tightening and further austerity measures aimed to conquer Brazilian stagflation and “restore business confidence and growth” as she heads into her second term.1 She wants to bring down rapid inflation, about 6.5% annually, lower interest rates and stimulate spending to boost employment and raise incomes.2 In terms of tax policy, Rousseff wants to alleviate the burden on businesses, encourage private sector investment and boost export competitiveness.1

Can Aid Programs Generate Equal Opportunities to Escape Poverty?

February 3, 2015

Are poverty alleviation programs short-term solutions or do they provide vulnerable individuals with opportunities to escape long-run deprivation? This policy question has been an ongoing source of debate between economists.1 For instance, Jeffrey Sachs has defended these programs, claiming that aid generates incentives for the poor to lift themselves out of poverty. William Easterly disagrees, arguing that aid creates dependency and that policymakers should instead focus on promoting economic growth.

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