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8 Conclusion: Shaping the Political Arena THE OBSERVER even casually acquainted with 20th-century Latin American history will not be surprised by the suggestion that the labor movement and state-labor relations have played an important role in the region's develop­ ment. Likewise, it is a familiar observation that the evolution of state-labor relations has seen both major episodes of state domination of the labor move­ ment and also dramatic instances of labor mobilization by actors within the state, and that these experiences have had important ramifications for the larger evolution of national politics. It is more novel to construct a model of political change and regime dynamics in Latin America that builds upon an analysis of the dialectical interplay between labor control and labor mobili­ zation. This book has developed such a model. Obviously, the argument is not that labor politics and state-labor relations can, by themselves, explain broader patterns of change. Rather, the focus on these issues provides an op­ tic through which a larger panorama of change can be assessed and, in part, explained. The book has examined a crucial historical transition, referred to as the initial incorporation period, which brought the first sustained and at least partially successful attempt by the state to legitimate and shape an institu­ tionalized labor movement. These initiatives were accompanied by a broader set of social and economic reforms and an important period of state-building. Labor policy during this period placed varying degrees of emphasis on the control of the labor movement and the mobilization of labor support, and these variations had a profound impact on the subsequent evolution of poli­ tics, playing a central role in shaping the national political arena in later de­ cades. The incorporation periods and their impact have been analyzed within what was called the critical juncture framework, which suggests that politi­ cal change cannot be seen only as an incremental process. Rather, it also entails periods of dramatic reorientation-such as the incorporation peri­ ods-that commonly occur in distinct ways in different countries, leaving contrasting historical legacies. The Historical Argument The book explores a series of analytically comparable, but chronologically divergent, periods that emerged sequentially in each country: the period of the "oligarchic state," the incorporation period, and the aftermath and heri- 746 S H A P I N G T H E P O L I T I C A L A R E N A tage of incorporation. The centerpiece of the historical argument is the com­ parison of incorporation periods. We first distinguish between cases of state incorporation and party incorporation. In state. incorporation, which charac­ terized Brazil and Chile, the principal agency of the incorporation project was the legal and bureaucratic apparatus of the state, and the primary concern was with depoliticizing the working class and exercising control over its sec­ toral organizations. In the authoritarian context within which state incor­ poration occurred, few channels of labor expression or political bargaining existed. Some benefits to labor were patemalistically extended through a new state-controlled union structure, which, particularly in Brazil, became an agency for the distribution of state social welfare programs. At the same time, (pre)existing independent and leftist unions were repressed. In party incorporation, by contrast, along with the state's role, a political party or political movement which later became a party was also crucial. Major con­ cessions were extended to labor in the attempt to win its political support, and typically, though not always, the left within the labor movement was tolerated or co-opted, rather than repressed. Three subtypes of party incor­ poration were distinguished, based on the distinct forms of party-led mobi­ lization, thus yielding four types of incorporation periods (see Figure 8. 1 ). In Uruguay and Colombia, party incorporation entailed the electoral mo­ bilization of workers in the framework of two-party competition between traditional parties that dated from the 1 9th century. With the concern of the incorporating party to attract electoral support of the working class, substan­ tial policy concessions were made. However, in contrast to other types of party incorporation, the construction of union-party links was either a mar­ ginal aspect of the incorporation project (Colombia) or did not occur at all (Uruguay). The labor populism of Peru and Argentina saw extensive electoral mobilization of labor by a newer, populist party that also constructed union­ party links as a central feature of the incorporation project. Major conces­ sions were granted to labor in exchange...


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