Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The Politics of Labor and Environmental Regulation in Argentina: Constructing State-Society Relations for Effective Implementation

Under what conditions do governments effectively implement labor and environmental regulations? Exploring sub-national variation in Argentina, I will test the connection between state-society relations and effective regulation. Protecting workers and the environment from the often negative effects of the market economy has, and continues to be, a challenge to both advanced industrialized and developing countries. My hypothesis is that for regulators to be effective, they must have the pressure from groups on both sides-those for and against regulation-and the state must manage this pressure in a way to carve out space for flexible administration of the law. I will examine a two step causal sequence to engendering effective labor regulation. The first stage of the causal sequence is the way bureaucracies and civil society associations are structured, which are the roots of variation in state-society relations. In the second stage of causation, I will then test how different constellations of state-society relations affect policy implementation. To test these causal relationships, I will conduct matched pair comparisons of provinces that share similar industries but vary in the structure of associations and bureaucracies. In addition to this small-N comparison, which is necessary due to the paucity of data and for identifying causal mechanisms, I will conduct written surveys of front line bureaucrats and associations in a large number of provinces to determine if the relationships found in the matched pair comparisons hold broadly. Finally, I will tie these relationships to actual outcomes on working conditions (such as accidents) and environmental pollution, determining which constellations of state-society relations are conducive to better social and environmental protection. Ultimately, this research will contribute to scholarly understanding of the politics of policy implementation and offer lessons for designing institutions to lead to more effective environment.