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5 Incorporation: Recasting State-Labor Relations THE PERIOD of initial incorporation of the labor movement is defined as the first sustained and at least partially successful attempt by the state to legiti­ mate and shape an institutionalized labor movement. During this period, the state played an innovative role in constructing new institutions of state-labor and labor-capital relations and new approaches to articulating the labor movement with the party system. The incorporation period emerged out of the experience of working class activation and elite debate on the social question discussed in the previous two chapters. This first major attempt to incorporate labor was important for a number of reasons: it addressed a fundamental crisis or potential crisis in these societies; it represented one of the most significant periods in Latin American history in which the state was challenged to address a fundamen­ tal reform agenda; and it constituted an opportunity to shape national polit­ ical institutions for years to come, an opportunity that was seized-or in some instances aborted, initially postponed, and later reinitiated-in differ­ ent ways in different countries. Our basic thesis is that the incorporation periods were a crucial transition, in the course of which the eight countries followed different strategies of control and mobilization of the popular sectors. These differences had a long­ term impact on the evolution of national politics. We do not intend to sug­ gest that once the initial incorporation period had occurred, the patterns es­ tablished remained unchanged. Quite the contrary, these periods set into mo­ tion a complex sequence of reactions and counterreactions, and the legacy of incorporation is to be found in the working out of this sequence. These re­ actions often led to consequences quite different from those intended either by the actors within the state who initiated incorporation or by the labor leaders who may have cooperated with them. Correspondingly, with regard to labels, when we assert that a country is an instance of a particular type of incorporation, we are referring to this earlier historical transition and not to the subsequent trajectory of change. The analysis of incorporation is based on a number of choices concerning the appropriate identification of these periods and the treatment of sub­ periods within the overall incorporation experience. These issues may be of great interest to some readers and of little interest to others. We have there­ fore discussed them primarily in the glossary and have also treated them to some degree in Chapter 1 . Questions concerning the beginning and end points of the incorporation periods are also addressed within the historical analysis in the present chapter, as well as in Chapter 4. 162 S H A P I N G THE P O L I T I C A L A R E N A Figure 5.1 gives a chronological overview of the incorporation periods in the eight countries, identifying for each country both an initial, more cau­ tious phase of incorporation, led by "conservative modernizers," and char­ acterized to varying degrees by modernization, tentativeness, stalemate, and failure; and a second phase during which state initiatives generally assumed a more vigorous form. Figure 5. 1 Chronological Overview of Incorporation Periods 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 BRA 2 CHI 2 MEX 2 VEN 2 URU 2 COL 2 PER 2 ARG 2 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 Notes: 1 = onset of first phase of "conservative modernizers"; 2 = onset of second phase of incorporation period. Table 5 . 1 provides a more detailed overview of these two phases of incor­ poration, including the event (coup, assassination, election, or worker dem­ onstration) that marked the transition between the phases. The table also shows the relation between the onset of the reform periods analyzed in the last chapter and the incorporation periods. In Mexico, Peru, and Argentina, the onset of reform brought an unsuccessful attempt to launch an incorpo­ ration project, followed by delays of varying lengths prior to the onset of the incorporation period. Types of Incorporation Periods The classification of these incorporation experiences is derived from the an­ swers to a series of questions concerning the overall goals of the political leaders who initiated incorporation, the principal political agency involved in the incorporation period, two dimensions of the mode of incorporation,1 and the scope of incorporation. 1 If one were providing a generalized descnption of the incorporation periods, in contrast to the present concern with establishing a scheme for differentiating among them, a third I N...


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