Universal social policies have the power to reduce inequality and create more cohesive societies. But how can countries in the South deliver universalism? Diego Sánchez-Ancochea (together with Juliana Martínez Franzoni) answers this question through a comparative analysis of Costa Rica, Mauritius, South Korea, and Uruguay, and a detailed historical account of Costa Rica’s successful trajectory in a new book.

Against the backdrop of democracy and progressive parties, he places at centre stage the policy architectures defined as the combination of instruments that dictate the benefits available to people. The volume also explores the role of state actors in building pro-universal architectures. The event will interest advanced students and scholars of human development and public and social policies, as well as policymakers eager to promote universal policies across the South.

There are no tickets for the event. Seats will be allocated on a first come basis. Please arrive promptly to avoid disappointment.    

About the speaker:

Dr Diego Sanchez-Ancochea is the Director of the Latin American Centre and an Associate Professor in the Political Economy of Latin America at Oxford University. He specialises in the political economy of Latin America with a particular focus on Central America and the Dominican Republic. He is particularly interested in the influence of state-society relations on income distribution with particular attention to the nature and determinants of social and industrial policies. His current research focuses on the political economy of income redistribution in the South.

The discussants:

Tasha Fairfield is Assistant Professor in the Department of International Development (LSE), where she studies comparative politics and qualitative methods. Her research analyzes the political economy of inequality, the politics of policy formulation, and business-state relations in Latin America.

Anthony Hall is Professor of Social Policy (LSE), where he has focused on Latin American development issues, including the social dimensions of REDD+ policies and, most recently, the anti-poverty and political impacts of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes in Brazil.


The book can be purchased online here.


The Quest for Universal Social Policy in the South              

Tuesday 28 February, 6:30-8pm

Venue: 32L.G.03, Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Speaker: Diego Sánchez-Ancochea 
Tasha Fairfield and Professor Anthony Hall
Professor Kenneth Shadlen