The Financialization of Social Policy: Insights from the Brazilian case
Lavinas, Lena (2015), The Financialization of Social Policy: Insights from the Brazilian case. https://basepub.dauphine.fr/handle/123456789/17837
TypeDocument de travail / Working paper
Series titleNOPOOR Working Paper
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)The 2000s marked a turning point in Brazil’s social policy, the institutionalization of which had been profoundly altered by the creation of the Social Security System in 1988. Conditional cash transfer programs as an anti-poverty mechanism significantly extended their coverage, as did social insurance benefits. Meanwhile, the third leg of the Social Security tripod, namely the Unified Health System (SUS), still suffers from underfinancing that limits its effectiveness, aggravating Brazil’s contradiction of having a public, free, and universal healthcare system that is unable to meet demand, while providing insufficient and over-targeted care. In the midst of this dynamic, social policy has served to consolidate the social-developmentalist model that consists of promoting the transition to a mass consumer society through growing access to the financial system. The novelty of the social-developmentalist model was that it applied the logic of financialization throughout the social protection system, through credit market access, expansion of private health insurance, private student loans, etc. Brazil is thus witnessing a process of accelerated financialization that also reaches the social protection system to overcome the “structural heterogeneity” barrier, which had hindered the expansion of the market society in Latin America. This study aims to analyze how this process unfolded, and how it inverts the logic of social policy: rather than protecting from risks and uncertainty, it increases people’s vulnerability and commodifies various dimensions of social life.
Subjects / KeywordsSocial policies; Latin America
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