Call for papers for Repal 2015 annual conference is open

The Department of Social and Political Sciences at the Universidad Católica del Uruguay (UCU, Montevideo) will host the 2015 Repal conference, in 7-8 July 2015.  Juan Bogliaccini (UCU) will chair the local organizing committee, and Ben Ross Schneider (MIT) and Angélika Rettberg (UNIANDES) will serve as program chairs.

Submission deadline for paper proposals is 15 December 2014. Send proposals to Notification of acceptance will come by late January 2015.

Find out more here.

Matthew Carnes (Georgetown University) and Isabela Mares (Columbia University)’s paper awarded best paper from the 2014 REPAL annual conference

Matthew Carnes (Georgetown University) and Isabela Mares (Columbia University) ’s paper has been awarded “best paper” from the 2014 REPAL annual conference.

The prize committee was Ken Shadlen (LSE), Daniela Campello (FGV-Rio), and Eduardo Dargent (PUC Perú).

Best Paper

Matthew Carnes (Georgetown University) and Isabela Mares (Columbia University) Redefining who’s “in” and who’s “out”: Explaining Preferences for Redistribution in Bolivia

This paper revisits and challenges a dominant hypothesis in political economy about the preferences and power of “insiders.” The expectation that beneficiaries under a given set of arrangements will push for continuity and against measures that might dilute their gains is central, implicitly if not always explicitly, in many political economy explanations. Carnes and Mares suggest an alternative scenario, based on instability of the status quo arrangements, which is a common if not prevailing condition in developing countries, and they use original data from a survey to show how instability may affect preferences for redistribution. The panel found the paper to address an important topic of great relevance, with an excellent research design and data analysis, and to be nicely written.


Honorable Mention

Renato Lima de Oliveira (MIT) and Martin Liby Alonso (MIT) Fueling development? Assessing the Impact of Oil and Soybean Wealth on Municipalities in Brazil

The Lima-de-Oliveira and Alonso paper contributes to the emerging literature devoted to understanding how politics mediate the impact of the recent commodity boom experienced by Latin American countries. Taking advantage of the large variation in resource wealth among Brazilian municipalities, they test the hypothesis that natural resource revenues channelled through the state (oil) are more subject to the dynamics associated with a resource curse than those channeled directly through the market (soybean). They find empirical support for this hypothesis; in comparable municipalities, soybean wealth is positively associated with development outcomes, whereas these effects are negative in oil-rich municipalities.


REPAL member Gustavo Flores-Macías awarded by LASA

Gustavo Flores-Macías (Cornell University) has been awarded the Luciano Tomassini Latin American International Relations Book Award by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), for his book After Neoliberalism?: The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America (New York: Oxford University Press 2012). Congratulations to him.

Professor Flores-Macías will be attending the first annual REPAL conference in Santiago in June (9 and 10).

New Series at Palgrave Macmillan

REPAL is glad to inform about Latin American Political Economy, a new series from Palgrave Macmillan.

Latin American Political Economy publishes new, relevant, and empirically-grounded scholarship that deepens our understanding of contemporary Latin American political economy and contributes to the formulation and evaluation of new theories that are both context-sensitive and subject to broader comparisons. Inspired by the need to provide new analytical perspectives for understanding the massive social, political, and economic transformations underway in Latin America, the series is directed at researchers and practitioners interested in resurrecting political economy as a primary research area in the developing world. In thematic terms, the series seeks to promote vital debate on the interactions between economic, political, and social processes; it is especially concerned with how findings may further our understanding of development models, the sociopolitical institutions that sustain them, and the practical problems they confront. In methodological terms, the series showcases cross-disciplinary research that is empirically rich and sensitive to context and that leads to new forms of description, concept formation, causal inference, and theoretical innovation. The series editors welcome submissions that address patterns of democratic politics, dependency and development, state formation and the rule of law, inequality and identity, and global linkages.

The series is affiliated with REPAL.

Click here for more information.

Latin American Political Economy – Palsgrave Macmillan 


REPAL will hold two panels during the next LASA conference (Chicago, May 21-24, 2014): “Is the revitalization of Latin American political economy necessary?” and “New Research Frontiers in Latin American Political Economy”.


On Friday 23, at 10am, Juan Pablo Luna (PUC Chile), Victoria Murillo (Columbia) and Andrew Schrank (University of New Mexico) will host a roundtable to discuss the current state of Latin American political economy as a field of study. Ernesto Calvo (University of Maryland), Alberto Díaz-Cayeros (Univeristy of California San Diego), Tulia Falleti (University of Pennsylvania) and Maria Hermínia Tavares de Almeida (Universidade de Sao Paulo) are invited to discuss the following questions: Is a political economic approach necessary or even useful? If so, what should it look like? Are contemporary political economists meeting the challenge? And, if not, what might be done about it?


The same day at 2 pm, a second panel will address the political economies of growth and distribution during Latin America’s recent commodity boom. The first two papers (Juan Pablo Luna and Victoria Murillo) will address the politics of natural resource exports in the Southern Cone in particular: Who wins? Who loses? How? And why? The remaining papers will focus on distributional questions including taxation (Tasha Fairfield, LSE, and Nora Lustig, Tulane), redistribution, and social protection (Candelaria Garay, Harvard University). Evelyn Huber as discussant will explore the intersection between the political economy of production, on the one hand, and the political economy of redistribution, on the other.