Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Politicized Enforcement: Labor and Environmental Regulation in Argentina

Friday, October 25, 2013

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This is a book workshop for a manuscript written by Matthew Amengual of MIT.  The manuscript explores the question: How can states with weak bureaucracies enforce labor and environmental regulations? Implementing regulations is central to ensuring worker protections and to fostering sustainable development, but many countries lack political will and bureaucratic capabilities for enforcement.  This work examines regulatory politics in Argentina, a country that has strong laws on the books to protect workers and the environment, but has weak political institutions and bureaucracies that seem incapable of implementing these laws.  Amidst a variety of constraints—including widespread politicization, lack of resources, and the absence of professional street-level agents—there is vast subnational variation in enforcement that cannot be accounted for using dominant theories.  The book develops a novel framework for explaining enforcement in politicized states.  Ultimately, the theory developed in this project will help scholars and policy makers identify alternative routes to improving labor and environmental standards in places where state regulation has appeared intractable.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Christine Kilgus at christine_kilgus@brown.edu. She will then send you a copy of the manuscript. All attendees are expected to have read the chapters under discussion.