Contention, Coalitions, and the Politics of Education Reform in Latin America


Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S250, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Ben Ross Schneider, Ford International Professor of Political Science, MIT; Director of the MIT-Brazil Program

Moderator: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government at Harvard University

Access to education in Latin America expanded rapidly in recent decades, but education quality still lags. To tackle the quality challenge, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and some states in Brazil enacted in the 2010s ambitious and promising reforms, often in the face of fierce opposition, especially from teacher unions and clientelist politicians. Reform outcomes though varied widely depending on the strength of support coalitions in civil society and teacher buy-in.

ben_ross_schneiderBen Ross Schneider is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and director of the MIT-Brazil program. Prior to moving to MIT, Schneider taught at Princeton University and Northwestern University. His recent books include Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America (2013), Designing Industrial Policy in Latin America: Business-Government Relations and the New Developmentalism (2015), and New Order and Progress: Development and Democracy in Brazil (2016). He also has written on topics such as democratization, the developmental state, social policies, business groups, and the middle income trap.