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The wave of democratically elected progressive governments in Latin America including that of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Lula in Brazil, Néstor and Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, opened an era characterised by the rolling out of ambitious programmes of economic inclusion and wealth redistribution. This was following years of neoliberal adjustments and wealth concentration with growing inequalities and political repression in the 1980s-1990s.
As a result, for the first time in decades the distributive patterns changed for the benefit of workers. This was particularly the case in the service and manufacturing sectors where unionised labour movements managed to improve their conditions gaining power in distributive disputes.
Despite improvements in economic inclusion and poverty reduction across the continent these policies failed to fully realise their expectations.
Mario is an Argentine sociologist and political scientist. Since 1984 he has been in charge of the chair of Latin American Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). He has published numerous articles and books on Latin American politics including ‘From Moctezuma to Chávez. Rethinking the history of Latin America.’ He is currently a consultant and research director at the Institute of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
He spent nearly 6 years in prison during the military dictatorship in Argentina and then, when he was released from prison in 1981, he settled in the UK where he studied at the London School of Economics.
Dr Eduardo Chavez Molina
Dr Molina is an Argentine-Chilean sociologist at the Gino Germani Research Institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (UBA). He holds a PhD in Sociology from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO-Argentina). He is an Associate Professor in Sociology at UBA and researches and teaches on ‘Structure, classes and social mobility’ at UBA and on ‘Structure and social change’ at the National University of Mar del Plata.