Fall 2019 - 59090 - PA 680PA - Policy Research Project

Emerging Policy Practices in Latin America
Following the exploratory research conducted by LBJ School Professors Peter Ward and Robert Wilson[1] to ascertain what the major policy challenges that Latin America as a region will be confronting in the next decade, this year-long Policy Research Project (PRP) seeks to explore various policy arenas – e.g., education, health, labor, environment, migration, security, social inclusion, and so on – throughout Latin America, with the purpose of surveying the region and exploring “best practices” that can be adapted to different countries under varying circumstances. This exploration of emerging policy practices will be framed within a general assessment of political, economic, and sociocultural norms of the region, which are critical for understanding how public policy is designed and implemented. For comparative purposes, the analysis will cover a broad range of large and small countries in the region, in an effort to break out of more traditional analyses of public policy in Latin America that have tended to focus predominantly on the largest and more important countries (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico). We are specifically interested in exploring the major challenges that lie ahead and how they might be addressed by learning from the experiences of others.  Given that the policy challenges faced by the region are vast, we will select the policy areas we wish to focus on based on the interests of the students. Following the lead of the PRP conducted in 2018-19, where the areas chosen for analysis were health, migration, and drugs, our first task in the PRP will be to survey the interests of the students and then build our research on these interests. Thus, the primary purpose of this research will be to explore what the future holds for public policy in Latin America, based on the analysis conducted by the various teams of students. The research conducted in this PRP will follow a mixed methods approach, relying on archival data, content analysis, and key informant interviews. The anticipated end product will be PRP Report, to be concluded during the Spring semester. [1] Peter M. Ward and Robert H. Wilson, 2018. Latin America’s Future Policy Challenges: A Ten-year Time Horizon,” Latin American Policy, Vol 9 No. 2: 183-207.   http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lamp.12150