McGuire’s Book Chapter, Article Published in Latin American, Politics Publications

Lauren RubensteinApril 22, 20133min
James McGuire

James McGuire, professor and chair of government, professor of Latin American studies, tutor in the College of Social Studies, recently had a book chapter and an article published.

The chapter, titled, “Social Policies in Latin America: Causes, Characteristics, and Consequences,” appeared in Routledge Handbook of Latin American Politics, edited by Peter Kingstone and Deborah J. Yashar and published March 8 by Routledge. The chapter classifies the main social policies enacted in Latin America from 1920 through 2010, explores the effects of those policies on the well-being of the poor, and outlines some of the forces and circumstances that led to the policies. Its main findings are that social assistance and public provision of many basic social services improved in Latin America after about 1990, even as the coverage of social insurance programs fell; that democracy and authoritarianism played an important and multifaceted role in shaping and constraining social policymaking in the region; and that a full explanation for why Latin American social policies evolved in the way that they did requires taking into account a wider range of factors than are usually invoked to explain the origins and evolution of welfare states in advanced industrial countries.

In March, McGuire also had an article, titled, “Political Regime and Social Performance,” published in Contemporary Politics. In this article, McGuire examines the association between political regime form and social performance, as measured by the infant mortality rate, using time-series cross-sectional regression analysis of 155 to 180 countries observed annually from 1972 to 2007. Controlling for other factors likely to affect infant mortality, democracies are found to have lower infant mortality rates than authoritarian regimes, and long-term democratic experience is found to matter more than short-term democratic practice. Among authoritarian regime types, one-party regimes have lower infant mortality rates than military or limited multiparty regimes, which have lower infant mortality than monarchies.