Welfare Regimes and Complex Social Inequalities: Latin America in Perspective
Despite the many still glaring social inequalities in the region, Latin America is one of the only regions in the world where income inequality is decreasing. This can be explained not only by the accelerated economic growth triggered by the natural-resource boom but also by particularly high welfare spending, Reducing social inequalities, consequently, has reached a high price, considering that a large portion of expenditures come from new revenue sources such as taxes and tariffs on natural resources. Furthermore, the inadequate tax basis and the regressive tax structure in Latin American continue to reproduce existing inequalities rather than transform them.
This research project deals with the contradictions between revenue-creation and redistribution of wealth in socially inclusive and sustainable politics. Emphasis is put on progressive and left-leaning governments. The project developed an innovative research approach that replaces methodological, nationalistic research on welfare states with applied insight gained in comparative intersectional and transnational welfare state research. This approach doesn’t seek to undermine the importance of national governments in transforming social inequalities but hopes to overcome the limits posed by a purely national-oriented perspective.
The interdisciplinary project is based at DesiguALdades.net in Berlin, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).