Framing Welfare Expansion: Citizenship, Collective Memory, and Fiscal Dilemmas in Mexico and Peru by Daniela Campos Ugaz (2024)

Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World


One of the most significant innovations in welfare policies in the past three decades has been the adoption of conditional cash transfers in dozens of countries in the Global South. The policies are puzzling, as they deviate from contributory social policy that privileges formal workers and were implemented during democratization and Washington Consensus reforms. How did policy makers justify welfare expansion? The author conducts an analysis of the parliamentary debates that resulted in the implementation of these programs in Mexico (1997) and Peru (2005). By examining the policy makers’ reasoning behind these programs, the author aims to explore the relationship between new forms of social rights and citizenship. The findings show that state actors mobilized narratives of nation-building to justify the historical debt to specific segments of the population, shared an ambivalence regarding the meaning of cash transfers between entitlements or investments, and acknowledged the precarity of the funding scheme.