January 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

Patronage and Jobs for the Boys: Perspectives on Latin America, Feb. 3

The Latin American Studies Program in the Center for International Studies invites faculty, students, and the general public to its Annual Lecture, “Patronage and Jobs for the Boys: Perspectives on Latin America,” on Monday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m., in Bentley Hall 227.

Marilee Grindle

Marilee Grindle

Speaker Merilee Grindle will discuss examples of the political construction and reform of public service in four Latin American countries: Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina.

Grindle is the Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development and Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. She is the current elected president of the Latin American Studies Association. A specialist on the comparative analysis of policymaking, implementation, and public management in developing countries, Grindle has paid particular attention to Latin America in her research and teaching.

“These countries’ contemporary struggles for reform have involved decades of conflict as well as compromise with supporters of patronage. Their examples remind us that, while we easily revile patronage as undemocratic and corrupt, reforming systems of civil service requires careful and lengthy political negotiations. They further teach us to adjust our expectations for institutional change within the public sector and to understand better the role of political compromise in achieving reform,” says Dr. Mariana Dantas, Associate Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies.

Grindle is a prolific writer, with eight books and numerous articles and chapters under her name, as well as five edited and co-written volumes. The topic of her most recent book, Jobs for the Boys: Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective, will serve as the basis for her lecture at Ohio University. In this work, Grindle considers the common practice of patronage as a method of staffing government and explores, in a comparative perspective, the contentious processes through which patronage has been replaced by merit-based civil service systems.

This year’s Latin American Studies Annual Lecture is sponsored by the McKay-Costa fund, the Latin American Studies Program in the Center for International Studies, and the Department of Political Science.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *