Who Decides Social Policy?: Social Networks and the Political Economy of Social Policy in Latin America and the Caribbean
This book combines an institutional political economy approach to policy making with social network analysis of social policy formulation processes. Based on extensive interviews with governmental and nongovernmental actors, the case studies of social policy formulation in Argentina, The Bahamas, Bolivia, and Trinidad and Tobago show that while societal actors are central in the networks in South American countries, government officials are the main participants in the Caribbean countries. The comparative analysis of the networks of ideas, information, economic resources, and political power across these cases indicates that differences in the types of bureaucratic systems and governance structures may explain the diversity of actors with decision power and the resources used to influence social policy formulation across the region. These analytical and methodological contributions-combined with specific examples of policies and programs-will help to enhance the efficiency, efficacy, and sustainability of public policies in the social arena.