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Unravelling the policy-making process: the case of Chilean Poverty-Alleviation policy

Puentes, German (2009) Unravelling the policy-making process: the case of Chilean Poverty-Alleviation policy. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis investigates the policy-making process underpinning the poverty-alleviation programmes created in Chile during the 1990s and the first part of the 2000s. Three programmes developed by the governing Concertacion Alliance during this period are selected. The un-researched characteristic of this subject in Chile is the main reason for choosing this topic. The thesis maps and explains the policy-making process of the three programmes, by identifying main events, actors and mechanisms behind the unfolding of events. Data is obtained from 32 interviews applied to key process actors to obtain their narratives of the processes. The Multiple Streams Model of the policy-making process is employed as theoretical framework. Results highlight that the processes occur in a highly closed fashion inside government. The main actors involved are the President and his ministers who are able to command the events that lead to the creation of a new programme. The political stream plays a fundamental role in the process as the pro-equity approach of the governing coalition creates a window of opportunity for the introduction of poverty-alleviation programmes. The problems stream is also important, thanks to the availability of poverty statistics that are produced every two years by the Concertacion Alliance governments. However, the processes differ from the Multiple Streams Model as no independent policy stream was found to exist. Instead, solutions are created by governments in a punctuated manner and during a short timeframe to accomplish political deadlines, when the government considers that the problem deserves to be addressed. The absence of a policy stream is explained by the policy monopoly that the government enjoys in the poverty arena, where no policy contestants exist. In particular, Chilean social policy experts constitute a small and non-articulated group of individuals usually excluded from the policymaking process, enabling the government to ignore them.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2009 German Puentes
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Kumar, Sunil

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