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The Financialization of Public Policy in Latin America: Crisis, Challenges and Alternatives in the Region

YSI Latin America Financialization Workshop

Start time:

June 4 - June 5



Faculty of Economics, Government and Communication, Universidad Central, Santiago



How to attend


12th April 2024


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Lena Lavinas

Instituto de Economía, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Ariel Wilkis

Escuela IDAES, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina


The financialization of public policy in Latin America: crisis, challenges and alternatives in the region

4 – 5 June, 2024 – Santiago, Chile

We invite young scholars to participate in the workshop: “The financialization of public policy in Latin America: crisis, challenges and alternatives in the region”. The workshop’s aim is to create a space for collective debate that brings together early career researchers with senior scholars. We look to contribute to the consolidation of financialization studies in Latin America due to the creation of a regional network of scholars and experts in the field. We encourage both theoretical and empirical approaches from all social sciences disciplines, with a particular interest in comparative studies. 

Call for papers

Since the 2000s, the study of financialization has significantly expanded, especially after the 2008 crisis. Scholars from social sciences have shown the growing influence of financial interests on the economy, the state, and society (Mader, Mertens, & van der Zwan, 2020). However, the concept of financialization remains polemic, and definitions refer to different phenomena, including: empirical developments in economic policy; a new phase of capitalism; new trends in public and social policy; and new collective agents, institutions, and practices (Engelen, 2008).

The current study of financialization has primarily concentrated on the changes experienced by advanced economies from the Global North, while developing countries from the Global South have received considerably less attention in the debate. This trend has shifted slightly since 2010, with increasing interest in the emergent studies on the financialization of the Global South (van der Zwan, 2014). However, the emphasis of this research has predominantly centered on emerging Asian economies and, secondarily, on Latin American countries.

Over the past decade, Latin American studies on financialization have explored finance-driven changes in several domains. On the one hand, a line of research has focused on the multilevel consequences of Latin America’s financialization processes, accounting for its impact on economic, commercial, fiscal, and monetary policies, among others (Abeles, Pérez Caldentey & Valdecantos, 2018). All these dynamics are intricately shaped both by internal and external factors, as has also been underscored by literature addressing subordinate financialization (Bonizzi, Kaltenbrunner & Powell 2020; Painceira, 2022). On the other hand, a growing body of research has accounted for the profound changes in the welfare systems of Latin American countries which tend to rely increasingly on complex linkages between public policies, financial markets, and households (Gonzalez, 2018; Lavinas, 2020; Wilkis, 2021).

The research shows how successive waves of policy reform have shaped the region’s public policy trajectory. In this process, the role of the State and the function of social policy have been redefined to serve the imperatives of financial-led accumulation (Lavinas, 2016). Firstly, through privatization, deregulation, or flexibilization policies, Latin American states have promoted greater participation of private financial entities in the provision of social services such as education, health, and housing, among others (Bahía et al. 2016; Santos Filho, 2016; Ríos Jara, 2023). Secondly, in the context of recurrent socio-economic crises and the post-pandemic recovery, access to credit has consolidated as a key means for low- and middle-income households to compensate for the cutbacks in welfare systems and the decline in their purchasing power. Scholars argue that the massification of cash transfers has served as collateral for low-income households’ access to credit markets (Lavinas, 2013; Wilkis, 2014). Thirdly, recent research has shown the increasing involvement of regional states in the financial inclusion of the working poor. In the last decade, we have witnessed a proliferation of financial inclusion policies that combine financial literacy programs with the State’s provision of loans to address a wide array of social demands, such as basic consumption, employment, education, and housing, among others (Bressan, 2020; Cariceo, 2020; Nougués, 2022).

In addition, the region is facing a new political scenario, marked by severe economic stagnation, political polarization, and environmental constraints, which brings new challenges to the study of financialization. These pressing issues have opened a window of opportunity for scholars, policymakers, and civil society to develop a critical and interdisciplinary approach to studying financialization and its challenges. In this context, this workshop aims to exchange ongoing research on financialization in Latin America and deepen a regional understanding of the phenomena related to it.

Topics of Interest

We invite young scholars (Graduate and MA students, PhD candidates, Postdocs) and early career researchers (3 years since Ph.D.) working on topics related to financialization studies in Latin America to apply for the call of papers on topics related to financialization studies, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Financialization of the State and public policies in general;
  • Financialization of social policy and welfare: education, health, labor, housing, pensions, and social security;
  • Financialization, economic policy and the role of central banking;
  • Finances and household economy;
  • Movements to de-financialize public policies;
  • Policy alternatives and definancialization of social policy and welfare;
  • Theoretical and analytical proposals to address financialization from a Latin American perspective; and
  • Comparative case studies.

Event format

The event consists of a two-day workshop with three types of activities. Firstly, four panels of paper presentations. In each panel, three students and early career researchers will present their papers/thesis chapters and receive feedback from commentators and peers. Presenters will have 15 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of commentator feedback, and 15 minutes of Q&A. Secondly, keynote speeches with scholars or policymakers. Finally, a round table about the future of financialization studies in Latin America will be presented. This activity will be open to the general public. The duration of the panel is two hours, including the presentation and debate.

A limited number of travel stipends in the amount of 250 USD and shared accommodation for two nights will be awarded to selected participants. 

Students must submit an extended abstract in English (length: 500-800 words). The scientific committee will analyze the academic merit of the work, and its relevance to the workshop’s topic. Full paper must be written in English and submitted before 20 May 2024.


Opening Call for Papers: 15 March 2024
Closing Call for Papers: 12 April 2024
Selection of Students: 20 April 2024
Full Paper Submission: 20 May 2024
Workshop: 4 & 5 June 2024


The event will take place in Santiago, Chile, in partnership with the Instituto de Investigación y Posgrado of the Faculty of Economics, Government, and Communications of the Universidad Central, the Max Planck Partner Group for the Study of the Economy and the Public and Escuela IDAES of the Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina. 

Contact and questions: [email protected]

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