Workers and Welfare (Paperback)
Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth-Century Mexico (Pitt Latin American Series)
University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822960454, 336pp.
Publication Date: February 28, 2010
By focusing on organized labor, and its powerful role in effecting institutional change, Workers and Welfare chronicles the development and evolution of Mexican social insurance institutions in the twentieth century. Beginning with the antecedents of social insurance and the adoption of pension programs for central government workers in 1925, Dion's analysis shows how the labor movement, up until the 1990s, was instrumental in expanding welfare programs, but has since become largely ineffective. Despite stepped-up efforts, labor has seen the retrenchment of many benefits. Meanwhile, Dion cites the debt crisis, neoliberal reform, and resulting changes in the labor market as all contributing to a rise in poverty. Today, Mexican welfare programs emphasize poverty alleviation, in a marked shift away from social insurance benefits for the working class.
About the Author
Praise For Workers and Welfare: Comparative Institutional Change in Twentieth-Century Mexico (Pitt Latin American Series)…
—Kurt Weyland, University of Texas at Austin
—William C. Smith, University of Miami
“An insightful and original analysis of the development of social insurance policies in Mexico during the twentieth century.”
“Summarizes with clarity and candor the momentous issues that have formed the core of debates about change in this Andean nation since the landslide victory of Morales in December 2005, debates which seem to come to a head in the constitutional debate.”
—Latin American Review of Books
“An authorative historical analysis of the politics of welfare in Mexico. Scholars and practitioners alike will benefit from Dion’s careful research and clear writing.”
—Sage Journals Online
“Dion has written the most comprehensive account of Mexico’s welfare institutions and policies to date.”
”The most thorough and comprehensive history of social welfare in Mexico of which I am aware. [Dion's] thorough demonstration that expansion of the welfare state was a response to explicit union demands, and not just a preemptive attempt to head off dissent, is compelling, and adds to the literature showing Mexican unions as proactive agents, not simply corporatist puppets. She marshals historical, quantitative, and comparative data to make her case.”
—Perspectives on Politics
"By far the most comprehensive account of Mexico's welfare state, and provides researchers with an essential historical perspective on contemporary debates. It will also be useful for historians of Mexican politics and state-building, who will appreciate its original emphasis on working-class and business pressures, and the connections across periods usually studies separately."