The Diffusion of Good Government
Social Sector Reforms in Brazil
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright
List of Tables
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List of Figures
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Though I did not know it at the time, the seed for this project was planted many years before I embarked upon the research for this book. From 1998 to 2000, I worked in grant making at the Ford Foundation where I supported efforts to strengthen civil society and promote good governance practices. My work had little...
1. The Politics of Social Sector Reforms, Subnational Governance, and the Prospects for Policy Diffusion
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One of the foremost challenges for democratic governments is to ensure that its outputs—public policies—are responsive to the needs of citizens. The difficulty of enacting good public policy is especially acute for developing nations, where the need for basic social services is high due to pressing demands resulting from...
2. Theoretical Debates on Policy Diffusion: A Motivations Approach
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A fundamental question that has recently engaged social scientists’ attention involves diffusion events. Simply put, how do ideas and practices spread, and why do actors embrace them? The geographic spread of social phenomena includes all types of innovations. Various social science fields have drawn on diffusion...
3. Diffusion Trends in Education and Health Policy Reforms
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Throughout much of the 1990s, local governments in Brazil responded to newfound responsibilities afforded through decentralization to develop programs in key social sectors. With greater fiscal, administrative, and political autonomy to design and implement social policies, cities throughout Brazil had the flexibility...
4. Education Reform: A Simple Idea Catches On
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Education reform has been a long-standing and pressing need for the Brazilian state. Despite investments made during authoritarian and democratic regimes, Brazil has underperformed on basic indicators such as literacy and measures of language and math learning when compared with other newly industrializing...
5. Health Reform: A Complex Idea Spreads
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Like education, the provision of health care and the need to reform the health system have been long-standing priorities for a more equitable Brazilian state. Yet in this sector reform requires tackling a complex set of institutions and political legacies. The Brazilian health insurance system dates back to the Bismarckian...
6. Conclusion: Ideology and Social Networks
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In Brazil, democratization and decentralization ushered in an era of experimentation by local governments that sought to address longstanding challenges in education and health care. Many politicians and policy experts throughout the country embraced equity-enhancing reform and thereby participated...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012