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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS) is an Organized Reserach Unit at the University of California, San Diego. CILAS emphasizes interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to research on Latin America (plus the Iberian peninsula). CILAS regularly hosts visiting scholars from Asia, Europe, and South America, and sponsors an annual grant competition for UCSD graduate students as well.

Cover page of Engineering Quotas in Latin America

Engineering Quotas in Latin America

(2006)

Proponents of electoral quota laws suggest that equitable representation will deepen democratization and transform policy outcomes. Eleven Latin American countries have gender quotas, but their efficacy varies: women’s parliamentary representation ranges from 35% in Costa Rica to 6% in Honduras. Systematic, cross-national analysis reveals that institutional engineering intersects with gender disadvantages in politics. This interaction creates conditions under which quotas succeed or fail. Long-term effects include whether quotas meaningfully empower female legislators and whether greater gender representation transforms policy outcomes. This paper explores the interaction between institutions and gender, using a case study from Argentina to develop the research agenda.

Cover page of Committing to Justice: An Analysis of Criminal Law Reforms in Chile

Committing to Justice: An Analysis of Criminal Law Reforms in Chile

(2004)

From 1997 to 2001, the Chilean government enacted laws to transform its criminal justice system from one using a closed and secretive inquisitorial-type process to one employing a more open and transparent adversarial process. These criminal procedure reforms significantly changed the roles of lower court judges, prosecutors and public defenders and provided defendants and victims with broader individual rights. Despite its commitment to criminal law reforms, during the implementation period of these reforms, the government remained lackluster in its commitment to a more open and transparent justice system when it related to more politicized cases. During the criminal law reform implementation process, the government was hesitant to prosecute high-level Pinochet-era officials while adamant about prosecuting individuals who criticized the judiciary. Not until the government had significantly improved the lower level criminal procedures was there a change in the way that the government dealt with the prosecution of high-level officials under the Pinochet regime and with individuals criticizing the judiciary itself. This paper explores the connection between the government’s commitment to lower level criminal law reforms and its policy switch in dealing with more politicized cases.

Cover page of Women, Ethnicity, and Medical Authority: Historical Perspectives on Reproductive Health in Latin America

Women, Ethnicity, and Medical Authority: Historical Perspectives on Reproductive Health in Latin America

(2004)

This paper is the result of discussions at the 2003 Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, in Dallas, Texas, March 27-29, 2003, where we organized and presented papers for a panel entitled “Women, Ethnicity, and Medical Authority: Reproductive and Children’s Health in Latin America since 1780.” While the papers focus on distinct regions and historical moments in Latin America, they all engage common themes. Each examines how “officials” representing various elite institutions—the Church, formal medicine, and the state—used cultural explanations of race and difference to construct new notions of “reproductive health” and “mothering” as measures of “civilization.” Moreover, these papers show how such constructions, which took place during moments of sweeping transformation in colonial and post-colonial Latin America, were used to justify a variety of forms of social discrimination, exclusion, and inclusion.

Adam Warren discusses ways in which Catholic priests used different types of gender ideals based on ethnic differences, notions of maternal intuition, and religious and moral sensibilities to advocate the practice of cesarean sections on indigenous Andean women in Peru. Alexandra Puerto examines the material causes of poor public health, focusing on how the organization and structure of plantation economies and labor creates high infant mortality rates in rural communities, specifically a henequen plantation in Yucatán, Mexico. Tamera Marko examines ways white upper class slave-owner parents, black slave wet nurses and black male folkhealers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, used the same ideals of motherhood and maternal instincts, as well as images of barbaric and “unfit” mothers, to negotiate their “fitness” and thus, their rights to be a mother, to be “free”, to be a citizen.

This work also contributes to broader historiographies about Catholic pastoral campaigns, rural insurrection, independence, abolition, family, childhood, labor, and rural capitalist transition. It also sheds light on the historical origins of many debates about reproductive health, race, and citizenship, which continue to shape public policy in Latin America today.

Cover page of Neoliberal Labor Relations in Two Small Open Democracies: Contemporary New Zealand and Uruguay

Neoliberal Labor Relations in Two Small Open Democracies: Contemporary New Zealand and Uruguay

(2001)

The essay addresses the question of labor market reform and union responses to market-oriented structural adjustment programs in two small open economies in the Southern Hemisphere. The leading questions are whether ideological militancy and unity or other factors matter when it comes to the labor movement’s ability to confront the challenges of market-oriented reform projects undertaken by new and well established democratic regimes. Political regime change and the history of interest group intermediation systems and labor market dynamics before and after the shift from state to market-oriented economies are reviewed in order to evaluate the data pertinent to each case. We conclude with some general comparisons and an argument in favor of the institutions and ideology thesis.

Cover page of Regional Integration in the Americas and the Pacific Rim: A Project Report

Regional Integration in the Americas and the Pacific Rim: A Project Report

(1997)

In 1996 the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS) and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) launched a two-year program on “Latin America and the Pacific Rim” at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Its aim is to promote understanding of the increasingly significant relationship between Asia and Latin America, especially in light of the relatively scant scholarly attention which has been devoted to this subject.

This working paper reproduces the essence of the conference discussions on "Regional Integration in the Americas and the Pacific Rim" held at UCSD on February 28-March 1, 1997 and special presentations on processes of regional integration prepared for the Visiting Fellows. The working contains three broad sections -- one on interactions between Asia and Latin America, another on comparisons between the two regions, and a third on the relationship between regionalism and globalism.