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Building consensus and establishing compacts in social policy: Notes for an analytical framework

Publication cover
Corporate author:
  • NU. CEPAL. División de Desarrollo Social
  • German Society for International Cooperation
UN symbol.: LC/L.3660 78 p.; diagrs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC June 2014


Although democracy is no longer the exception in Latin America, in many cases the political feasibility
of major social and fiscal covenants remains a standing challenge, which explains the interest that the
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has in covering this issue, with
the support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), in the framework of the project
“Social covenant for more inclusive social protection”. This paper opens a line of inquiry into analysis of
the emergence of compacts and consensuses in the social policy sector, presenting a methodological
proposal to conduct ex post case studies of compacts and consensuses that have emerged in this sector in
democratic contexts, as well as ex ante assessments of the possibilities for a broad social accord or
consensus in specific contexts. This methodological proposal is built on three case studies on major
consensus-based social policy reforms in Chile, Mexico and Uruguay, which will be published in the
Social Policies series.

Table of contents

Summary .-- I. Introduction: Why are compacts important? .-- II. A toolkit for analysing the emergence of social compacts and devising roadmaps
to establish them .-- III. Towards the identification of basic elements for analysing the emergence
of compacts and consensuses in social policy .-- IV. Questions for analysis and preliminary findings.

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