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Usted está aquí: Inicio Acerca del CLAD Publicaciones Revista del CLAD Reforma y Democracia Artículos por número publicado 028, Febrero 2004 The Problem of the Consensus for Administrative Reforms in Latin America

The Problem of the Consensus for Administrative Reforms in Latin America

Luciano Tomassini

This document was required as a basis for the discussion of the issue which was the main concern of the Preparatory Conference of Ministers of the Presidency for the Meeting of Iberoamerican Chiefs of State or Government, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Its subject matters were not the reforms carried away by those governments, but the consensus they were able to gather behind this type of processes.

The paper begins with some conceptual distinctions among the State, the government and the public administration. Then, it refers to the various processes of building consensus for the approval of its policies or administrative performances, distinguishing the situation given in a multiparty system, in a bipartisan system, erratical or discontinuous, in a stable bipartisan system or in an hegemonic regime.

The study provides an overview of the reforms recently achieved in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, taking the Southern part of the region as an innovative and representative sample. Then it deepens in the strong links between what has traditionally been called administrative reform or modernization of the State, whose goals, orientations and scopes influence decisively the way in which public administration is shaped. Thereof, considerable emphasis is placed in the existence of a strong system of coordination at the higher governmental level, as an essential condition for the achievement of consensus and the restructure of the administration.

The conclusion is that administrative reform is an integral part of the modernization of the State in Latin American countries, with its economical, fiscal, political and social aspects associated with these processes. This is the reason why a strong clash has emerged among those sectors who conceive the modernization of the State as a mere part of market economical reforms, and those who understand them as the next and major step to achieve growth of the product, macroeconomic stability, social equity, participation of civil society in government and the governance of democracy.

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