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Title: Social protection and labour law : regulatory approaches to the informal employment sector in Latin America
Author: Thoene, Ulf V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 5621
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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The phenomena of high and persistent levels of informal employment and informal entrepreneurial activity have been among the most pressing features undermining the development of participatory socio-economic and political institutions in Latin America over the past decades. The informal sector does not exist separately from the formal economy. Although some individuals profit from shirking regulation such as tax payments, others are denied their basic rights as citizens. Many policy initiatives that set out to enable an increasing share of the region’s population to enjoy protected workplace conditions, access the social protective systems and nurture productive firms have had negligible or even detrimental effects. This research thesis argues that in order to understand the complex mechanics of informal labour in Latin America, a wide analytical perspective must be adopted, so that various interconnected developmental policy issues such as citizenship, state capacity, the political economy of the region, the design structure and the coverage of the contributory social protection regime, the quality of political participation, access to the legal system, and education must be examined with respect to their impact on social and labour rights. Employing the analytical lens of institutionalist regulatory theory and adopting central insights from Sen’s Capability Approach allow for the identification of path-dependent patterns in Latin American labour law and social polices, a reassessment of the role of the state as a regulatory actor, and the crucial importance of lifting the quality of employment and social services delivery. That approach allows this research dissertation to move beyond the traditional discourses that advocate either state regulation in the areas of social and labour legislation coupled with enforcement mechanisms, or alternatively deregulatory policies that place their faith in market forces as the ultimate formula to approach a societal issue that must actually be tackled from several vantage points. Fieldwork was carried out in Colombia in order to enrich this research with data obtained from interviews, participant observation and library visits.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; K Law (General)