Continuity by surprise: Explaining institutional stability in contemporary Peru

Alberto Vergara, Daniel Encinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Latin America experienced a so-called left turn that sought either to reform or eliminate the neoliberal institutions established during the 1980s and 1990s. However, although Peru has electoral, economic, and social processes similar to those of its neighbors, the neoliberal institutions established in Peru by the 1993 Constitution remain firmly in place. This article aims to understand the mechanisms sustaining Peru’s neoliberal regime since its creation. Why have these institutions survived and grown in strength in a regional environment that has been hostile to neoliberal legacies? The article answers that question, emphasizing the evolution of the balance of power between the precarious Peruvian political class and the empowered technocrats and bureaucrats within the state. The reformist politicians are too weak and amateurish to challenge the technobureaucrats within the state. Moreover, the article analyzes the different strategies deployed by technocrats and bureaucrats in order to ensure the continuity and stability of the neoliberal regime and its policies. Theoretically, the article suggests that institutional stability can arise from a daily process gradually shaped by actors and their strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-180
Number of pages22
JournalLatin American Research Review
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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