a1 University of Chicago, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article investigates the structures of civic networks and their roles in steering the political choices of party and union elites regarding the retrenchment or expansion of welfare states in four recently democratized developing countries. Utilizing coaffiliation networks built upon two waves of World Values Surveys and evidence from comparative case studies for Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan, the study develops two explanatory factors that account for variations in welfare politics: cohesiveness and embeddedness. In Argentina and, to a lesser degree, in Taiwan, party and union leaders' cohesive relationships, being disarticulated from the informal civic sphere, allowed them to conduct elite-driven social policy reforms from above, by launching radical neoliberal reforms (Argentina) or by developing a generous transfer-centered welfare state (Taiwan). In Brazil and South Korea, however, party and union leaders' durable solidarity embedded in wider civic communities enabled them to resist the retrenchment of welfare states (Brazil) or implement universal social policies (South Korea) based on bottom-up mobilization of welfare demands. This article demonstrates that elites in the formal sector make markedly different political choices when confronting economic crisis and democratic competition depending upon their organizational connections in formal and informal civic networks.
Cheol-Sung Lee is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. He is interested in comparative welfare states and social movements. His current research focuses on the effects of the organizational configuration of civil society on institutional changes and social policy outcomes.
* For their valuable comments, I thank Jason Beckfield, Seok-Ju Cho, Rick Donor, Terry Clark, Mark Deming, Yong-Kyun Kim, Alex Hicks, Edward Laumann, John Levi Martin, Cristina Mora, Jong-Hee Park, Monica Prasad, and Andrew Schrank, as well as participants in the University of Chicago Comparative Politics Workshop, the Institute for Developing Nations Workshop at Emory University, and the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies workshop at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. This research was supported by the University of Chicago Social Sciences Division Research Grant.