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Welfare Deficit of Exclusionary Development in Post-Peace Accords Guatemala

Sandberg, Johan (2008)
Sociology
Abstract
This study applies an embedded approach to the analysis of social welfare in Guatemala. The assumption in such a study is that welfare outcomes in developing countries could be but partially explained through structural analyses on redistribution systems; i.e. a country's social welfare, tax and social policies, and labour market. Instead, comprehensive studies on social welfare should extend beyond isolated analyses on redistribution systems to assessments of overall development strategies. In particular, they should focus on exploring the causality between welfare outcomes and the assigned role of redistribution and social welfare within development strategies, as well as the type of growth paths being pursued.

The case of Guatemala is... (More)
This study applies an embedded approach to the analysis of social welfare in Guatemala. The assumption in such a study is that welfare outcomes in developing countries could be but partially explained through structural analyses on redistribution systems; i.e. a country's social welfare, tax and social policies, and labour market. Instead, comprehensive studies on social welfare should extend beyond isolated analyses on redistribution systems to assessments of overall development strategies. In particular, they should focus on exploring the causality between welfare outcomes and the assigned role of redistribution and social welfare within development strategies, as well as the type of growth paths being pursued.

The case of Guatemala is analyzed and is shown to provide empirical evidence supporting this assumption. While insufficient and regressive redistribution systems directly reproduce welfare deficiencies such as chronic poverty, structural inequalities and socio-economic exclusion of the poor and the indigenous Guatemalans, this study finds that these outcomes are ultimately the result of the country's exclusionary development strategy. It further finds that the structural reproduction of poverty, inequalities, exclusion and inadequate social welfare is the logical result of the elite's systematic insistence on such reproduction to retain hegemonic powers. As demonstrated in this study, large landholders, business oligarchs and the intellectual elite shape the exclusionary strategy through a clientelist relationship with the executive powers and block any attempt at correcting Guatemala's inequalities and exclusion. This agent-structure power relationship is evident in the Peace Accords of 1996 that fail to address structural inequalities and exclusion; in the deliberate failure to implement the accords by consecutive governments; and in the current "Vamos Guatemala!" development plan. Furthermore, it is evident in the reproduction of regressive and reverse redistribution systems that exclude the large majority of Guatemalans while taking from the poor and giving to the rich. (Less)
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author
Sandberg, Johan
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
social welfare, development, redistribution, exclusion, Guatemala, Social and economic history, Ekonomisk och social historia, Social sciences, Samhällsvetenskaper, Sociology, Sociologi, Social structures, Sociala strukturer
language
English
id
1366596
date added to LUP
2009-03-13
date last changed
2011-05-12 15:48:37
@misc{1366596,
  abstract     = {This study applies an embedded approach to the analysis of social welfare in Guatemala. The assumption in such a study is that welfare outcomes in developing countries could be but partially explained through structural analyses on redistribution systems; i.e. a country's social welfare, tax and social policies, and labour market. Instead, comprehensive studies on social welfare should extend beyond isolated analyses on redistribution systems to assessments of overall development strategies. In particular, they should focus on exploring the causality between welfare outcomes and the assigned role of redistribution and social welfare within development strategies, as well as the type of growth paths being pursued.

The case of Guatemala is analyzed and is shown to provide empirical evidence supporting this assumption. While insufficient and regressive redistribution systems directly reproduce welfare deficiencies such as chronic poverty, structural inequalities and socio-economic exclusion of the poor and the indigenous Guatemalans, this study finds that these outcomes are ultimately the result of the country's exclusionary development strategy. It further finds that the structural reproduction of poverty, inequalities, exclusion and inadequate social welfare is the logical result of the elite's systematic insistence on such reproduction to retain hegemonic powers. As demonstrated in this study, large landholders, business oligarchs and the intellectual elite shape the exclusionary strategy through a clientelist relationship with the executive powers and block any attempt at correcting Guatemala's inequalities and exclusion. This agent-structure power relationship is evident in the Peace Accords of 1996 that fail to address structural inequalities and exclusion; in the deliberate failure to implement the accords by consecutive governments; and in the current "Vamos Guatemala!" development plan. Furthermore, it is evident in the reproduction of regressive and reverse redistribution systems that exclude the large majority of Guatemalans while taking from the poor and giving to the rich.},
  author       = {Sandberg, Johan},
  keyword      = {social welfare,development,redistribution,exclusion,Guatemala,Social and economic history,Ekonomisk och social historia,Social sciences,Samhällsvetenskaper,Sociology,Sociologi,Social structures,Sociala strukturer},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Welfare Deficit of Exclusionary Development in Post-Peace Accords Guatemala},
  year         = {2008},
}