Social Sciences Lecture Series | Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield › view all

The Politics of Social Protection During Times of Crisis

October 11, 2023 - 14:00-16:00
Unicom, 7.1020
Contact: Anh Tran
Series: Social Sciences Lecture Series
Event type: public

Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield (University of Hamburg) on "The Politics of Social Protection During Times of Crisis"



In 2020, as Latin American countries shuttered their economies, it became clear that effective lockdowns would require states to provide income support. In a region that has historically struggled to build systems of social protection, the effort to expand benefits was notable. Policies varied in scope and generosity, but in what seemed to signify a new era of state-building, Latin American democracies demonstrated a nearly uniform commitment to providing assistance to the poor. Why did some countries implement broader and more adequate programs than others and why did countries vary in their ability to sustain support over time? This Element argues that three factors explain cross-national and cross-temporal differences in policy effort: policy legacies, unified/divided government, and fiscal space. The Element shows that in settings of crisis, the democratic politics of social policy expansion shifts, with traditional factors like ideology and electoral competition playing a less central role.



Merike Blofield is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Hamburg, where her focus is on global health and social policy. Prior to moving to the University of Hamburg, she was Director of the Institute for Latin American Studies at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and a Professor of Political Science and Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Miami. With a focus on Latin America, her research has analyzed policy areas that intersect social, health, family, gender and labor policy.



This lecture is organized by the CRC 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy".