Merilee Grindle

Merilee Grindle

Former Director, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development, Emerita
Merilee Grindle

Merilee S. Grindle is the Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development, Emerita at the Kennedy School of Government. She is a specialist on the comparative analysis of policy making, implementation, and public management in developing countries, with particular reference to Latin America. She is the author of a number of books, including Jobs for the Boys: Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective; Bureaucrats, Politicians,and Peasants in Mexico; State and Countryside; Searching for Rural Development, Challenging the State; Audacious Reforms; Despite the Odds; and Going Local. In addition, she has written numerous articles about policy management and the political economy of reform. She also is the editor of Politics and Policy Implementation in the Third World; Getting Good Government; and Proclaiming Revolution. She is co-author, with John Thomas, of Public Choices and Policy Change, which won an award as the best book in public policy in 1991. A political scientist with a PhD from MIT, Grindle is engaged in research on the political economy of public sector reform.


Equity and Social Mobility Conference

The DRCLAS and the UNDP International Poverty Centre (IPC) organized a conference on “Equity and Social Mobility: Theory and Methodology with Applications to Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, and South Africa” that took place in Brasília from January 11th to 13th. Over twenty distinguished researchers from leading universities and institutions participated in the three day meeting. Participants from Harvard included Professor Jorge Domínguez (FAS, Government), Professor Prudence Carter (FAS, Sociology) and Lorena Barberia, DRCLAS Program Associate who chaired the session “Brazil: Inequality and Poverty” and overcame numerous obstacles to ensure the participation of researchers from all four countries. The papers presented and the group discussions highlighted the challenges of promoting economic growth and policies that ensure the equity of opportunities. Researchers presented their analysis of the experiences and challenges faced by Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, and South Africa. The seminar focused on emerging patterns in gainful income and consumption decisions, rural development, ethnic segmentation and the impact of social policies on social mobility trends and aimed to inform policy decision makers for poverty reduction, equity enhancement and the promotion of social mobility. More information about the conference, papers and participants can be found on the website:
Following the conference in Brasília, the Cuban delegation, accompanied by Lorena Barberia, traveled to Salvador, Bahia to visit the state’s PNUD office and to meet with Bahia’s Governor, Jaques Wagner. For more information, please see: Harvard faculty: Jorge I. Domínguez; Antonio Madero Professor of Mexican and Latin American Economics and 
Participating Harvard faculty: 
Xavier de Souza Briggs, Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning, MIT
Merilee S. Grindle, Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development, HKS
Jorge I. Domínguez; Antonio Madero Professor of Mexican and Latin American Economics and Politics
Michael Woolcock, Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS and Senior Social Scientist; World Bank Development Research Group
Miren Uriarte, Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, BostonPolitics
Prudence Carter, Associate Professor of Sociology, FAS

Collaborating Institutions: Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas (CIPS); Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana (CEEC); United Nations International Poverty Center (IPC); and, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA)

Bolivia, Chile, Peru: Exploring Opportunities for Mutual Gain

DRCLAS, with support from the Corporación Andina de Fomento, organized at Harvard University two week-long seminars to bring together Bolivian, Chilean, and Peruvian leaders from government, opposition, business, media and civil society to better understand the differing perspectives among the three countries and explore opportunities for mutual gain.

Participating Harvard facultyThomas Cummins, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art History; Roger Fisher, Samuel Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, Jorge I Dominguez, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs; John Coatsworth, Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs; Merilee Grindle, Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development, KSG, and Michael Watkins, Harvard Business School, Steve Reifenberg, project coordinator.

Collaborating Institutions: Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)


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