Structural Reforms and Institutional Presidency in Latin America

Friday, 3 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW1.2.02 (Tower One)
Magna Inacio, Universidade Federal de MInas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Henrique Miranda, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
In Latin American countries, presidentialism and its internal institutional structure are key factors to the coordination of domestic and international politics. The internal structure of the Presidency, as well as other political agencies, might be affected not only by political tensions or preferences but also by economic factors, especially those related to economic policies that could cause some disturbance in the distribution of income. Therefore, this project analyses how these economic policies could alter the internal structure directly related to the president by centralizing/decentralizing it. In order to do that, we focus on two economic areas which should have the most impact on the distribution of income. Those areas are privatization and tax reform. Lora (2012) utilizes a series of data to create an index, to measure the neoliberal economic reforms in Latin American countries, in which he specifies one partial index for privatization and another for tax reform. We use this data and cross it with our gathered resources regarding the internal structure of the presidency to observe if these reforms have impacted this structure. Our goal is to see if the presidents, in order not to lose control of their political power, create more secretariats directly connected to the presidency in times of economic reform. We have selected four countries to compare these analyses: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. We chose these countries for their economic power, their impact on Latin American economy and, most of all, for the differences in their political structures, either as coalition governments or as one-party governments.