Market Reform in Society

Post-Crisis Politics and Economic Change in Authoritarian Peru

By (author) Moisés Arce

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 September 2006

Length of book:

184 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271025438

Going beyond the usual state-centric approach to the study of the politics of neoliberal reform, Moisés Arce emphasizes the importance of understanding the interaction between state reformers and collective actors in society. In Market Reform in Society he helpfully focuses our attention on how various societal groups are affected by different types of reform and how their responses in turn affect the state’s subsequent pursuit of reform.

As a country characterized by strong state autonomy and widespread disintegration of civil society and representative institutions during the 1990s when Alberto Fujimori was president, Peru serves as an excellent case for examining how collective actors can succeed in influencing the reform process. Arce compares reforms in three areas: taxation, pension privatization, and social-sector programs in poverty alleviation and health decentralization. Differences in the concentration or dispersion of costs and benefits, he shows, affected incentives for groups to form and engage in collective action for supporting, opposing, or modifying the reforms.

“A superb exercise in comparative political economy, Moisés Arce’s book fills a void in the Latin American literature, given the paucity of book-length studies that have been published on Peru since 1980. By focusing an in-case comparison on the complicated impact of market reforms from a societal perspective, the author has very creatively wielded insights that actually bring the reform process to life. This book also contributes to the literature on research methodology, as the author has designed an analytical framework that is both compelling and parsimonious. I predict that this approach will be embraced by other students of market reform, for it offers a blend of qualitative and quantitative analysis that draws closely from the reform experience itself.”

—Carol Wise, University of Southern California