Social Assistance Expansion and Political Inclusion in Latin America

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Has social assistance expansion contributed to political inclusion in Latin America? The current literature favours a “policy exchange” approach, hypothesising that social assistance is an electoral asset exploited by governing coalitions. The findings from this literature are mixed. The article proposes an alternative approach emphasising political inclusion. In unequal societies where economic cooperation is regulated by institutions generating inequality and disadvantage, social assistance contributes to the political inclusion of disadvantaged groups. Analysis of Latin American Public Opinion Project data for 2010 to 2019 data finds support for this hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Politics in Latin America
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • social assistance
  • political inclusion
  • latin america
  • conditional income transfers
  • social minimum

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute
  • Global inequalities


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