Northwestern Events Calendar


Relative Power of the State: A Theory of Economic Inequality

When: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Co-Sponsor: Department of Political Science

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Laura Garcia Montoya, PhD Candidate, Political Science

In this chapter, I theorize about the forces sustaining stables trajectories of economic inequality in Latin America. I propose a theory that draws on a notion of opposing forces to explain how trajectories of economic inequality are shaped in the long run. On the one hand, I think of state capacity as one of the relevant forces. A strong state is defined by it’s capacity to maintain political order, to protect it’s citizens, to guarantee property rights, to tax and to redistribute resources. On the other hand, I focus on the capacity of the economic elite to defend their interests as the second relevant force. A strong economic elite is one with the capacity to influence policy by directly participating in the policy making process or by challenging the state. The relative power of the state is the result of the interaction of these two forces. In this chapter, I study the different types of Relative State Power to discuss the conditions under which one should expect either stable trajectories of economic inequality or changes in the trajectory of economic inequality.


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