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Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Oxford, UK and Malden, USAIJURInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research0309-13172005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

March 2005291110 23Symposium: Globalization and Cities in Comparative Perspective Globalization and Latin American citiesBryan R. Roberts

Volume 29.1

March 2005


International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Globalization and Latin American Cities


Cities have long been enmeshed in global economic and cultural networks, so the challenge is to differentiate what is distinctive in the current processes of globalization from long-standing trends. The major cities of Latin America have played an important role in global economic and political organization since the conquest of the Americas by Spain and Portugal. In Spanish America, cities such as Mexico City and Lima were important nodes in the organization both of transatlantic and transpacic trade. They were also essential elements in ordering the internal economies of the Spanish colonies so that these could contribute to the global economy (Morse, 1971). Other cities, such as Guanajuato in Mexico or Potosi in the viceroyalty of Peru performed specialized and subordinate roles within the urban hierarchy of the colonies as sites of mining and manufacturing. In Brazil, the cities were equally important in organizing the participation of the colony in the global economy of the day. Indeed, the unity of Brazil was, to a certain extent, maintained in the face of centrifugal forces by the trade and communication between its major coastal cities. With independence, the new countries of Latin America were congured around the major cities and around the economic and political projects of the elites that dominated those cities. Within countries, distinctive regions emerged around important urban centers, which organized politically and economically the agricultural and extractive economies Cali and Medellin in Colombia, Guadalajara and Monterrey in Mexico, Trujillo, Arequipa and Huancayo in Peru (Walton, 1977; Long and Roberts, 1984). Overlaying the centrifugal processes in each country was the increasing primacy of the urban system in most of Latin America (Browning, 1958; Gilbert, 1992; Roberts, 1995: 3841). Primacy is itself a feature of integration into the global economy. By the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the economies of most Latin American countries were developing as a result of their natural advantage in providing primary products to Europe and the United States. These export-oriented economies were organized by the foreign and national commercial and political elites resident in the major cities. Only in these was there a domestic market sufcient to sustain substantial service industries, craft and manufacturing industries. The growth of secondary centers was consequently slower than that of the major cities, with some exceptions such as Colombia and the twin growth of So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. For most of the twentieth century, even in the period of import-substituting industrialization (1940s1980s), primacy continued to be a marked feature of the Latin American urban systems. The major cities contained by far the largest markets for consumption and poor communications made ease of access to markets important to protability. Consequently, the tariff-protected manufacturing industries located in the major cities. The organization of the global economy and polity has, then, been decisive for the shape of the Latin American urban systems, and these systems, in turn, account for much of the character and variation in Latin Americas social, political and economic organization. Indeed, dependency theories, which were perhaps the earliest systematic attempts to analyze the negative aspects of globalization, stressed that dependency was
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Globalization and Latin American cities


not simply an external relation, but one that was also based on internal economic and social structures. Though this was not analyzed by dependency theories, it is clear that the variations in the urban systems of the countries of Latin America help account for the differences within and between Latin American countries in the nature of their dependency and their prospects for development. In face of this long experience of globalization, what does the current focus on globalization processes and on global cities offer that is new for the understanding of Latin American urban development? The global cities approach emphasizes the functional interdependence and specialization of urban economies that results from increasingly unrestricted capital ows, near instantaneous means of communication, and the organizing capacity of the cluster of business activities concentrated in the large cities (see Friedmann and Wolff, 1982; Sassen, 1994; Hall, 1998; Lo and Yeung, 1998: 911). National boundaries and nation states become less signicant for the pattern of economic development, it is claimed, than the global ows of people and capital between world cities (Sassen, 1998; 2000). This perspective has, however, limited applicability to Latin American cities.1 David Smith (2001) points out that the analysis of the global city system has basically left out the cities of the poor in the South which tend to be both under-emphasized and under-theorized. Alan Gilbert (1998: 181) argues that even major Latin American cities, such as Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo, do not fulll truly global or world city roles, despite their importance within the region for the control and coordination of global nancial and other business services. In the 1990s, economic recessions, debt problems and scal austerity severely restricted the economic growth of Latin Americas major metropolises. These same difculties increase the control that foreign capital exercises both over local enterprises and over urban infrastructure. That, of course, is an important aspect of contemporary globalization, but it is not exactly a new one. Despite persisting national differences in urbanization processes in Latin America and the weak development of a globally organized system of cities, globalization does have important consequences for urban social and economic organization in the region. Some of these changes are those predicted by world/global city models the increasing functional interdependence and specialization of Latin American cities as seen in the growth of producer services in the large cities and of cities specializing in export manufacturing in Mexico and the Caribbean. More pervasive, however, are the consequences for urban social organization of the reduction in the costs of communication, of the opening up of economies to free trade, of the free movement of capital and of the reduction of state intervention in the economy. These forces are likely to have important consequences for contemporary urban organization even when they do not increase functional specialization and interdependence. As Townroe (1996: 21) states, their combined impact places cities rich and poor into an environment of greater social and economic turbulence than hitherto. I argue that the low and middle-income populations of the cities in Latin America have been affected in new ways by contemporary economic and cultural globalization, that the impact has varied depending on a city and a countrys particular path of development, and that globalization has had signicant, direct and indirect, consequences for urban social and public policy. My analysis will take account both of the ways global forces structure urban economies and spatial organization, globalization from above, and of what Appadurai (2000) calls globalization from below. Globalization from below examines the possible implications of globalization for citizen rights and
1 This is less the case of the international migration movements that are characteristic of current globalization. These have increased between the Latin American countries and between them and the United States and Europe. Even here, however, the lack of economic dynamism of even the richer Latin American economies means that they are not powerful magnets attracting migrants from poorer Latin American countries. For instance, the percentage of those born in the neighboring and poorer countries has remained the same as it was at the early 1900s approximately 2% in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires.
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Bryan R. Roberts

consciousness as a result of the activities of international organizations, of national and international NGOs and of increased access to information by community groups.

Latin America in the global economy of the 1990s

The decade of the 1990s was one of relatively slow growth of per capita income in Latin America, averaging 1.1% annually between 1990 and 1999. This growth rate conceals a substantial volatility, with negative rates of growth after the Tequila shock of 1994. There was a subsequent recuperation, which was followed by recession again by the end of the decade as a result of the Brazilian and Argentine devaluations and of slowing US growth. Both in the 1980s and 1990s, the economies of the region were affected similarly by external economic crises, indicating that globalization generally brings increasing external vulnerability and economic volatility. For most Latin American countries, the 1990s also increased dependence on global economic forces through (a) the rise in foreign direct investment and portfolio investment and (b) the increasing share of imports and exports in the GNP. Latin America contrasts with some other developing regions in that its long involvement in global trade and its relatively early development of an internal market has made it a relatively attractive location for private investment. Latin America attracted substantial amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI) with FDI increasing as a proportion of net resource ows from 1980, constituting 20.4% of ows until 1998 when it made up some 70% of net resource ows (World Bank, 1999, Vol. 1: 194). It went mainly to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, attracted by the privatization of state-owned companies in energy, utilities and communications, but also investing in nancial services, in export-related manufacturing sectors, in tourism and in the domestic market (restaurant chains, supermarkets and shopping malls). Also important has been the increase in short-term portfolio investment in the 1980s and 1990s, which increased the potential volatility of Latin American markets. The Mexican crisis of 1994/5 and the Argentinean one in 2001 showed the consequences of this volatility, when the rapid outward ow of capital was a major factor forcing devaluation. External trade dependence also increased during the 1990s, but with important differences between countries (see Table 1). Note that though external trade increased throughout the region, countries varied in whether it increased most through imports or through exports. Only Chile, Cost Rica and Mexico of the ve countries in the table showed an equal increase in both imports and exports, and both countries have high export and import coefcients. In contrast,
Table 1 Export and import coefficients for selected countries of Latin America (average values with respect to GNP in 1995 dollars)
198990 Exports Argentina Brazil Chile Costa Rica Mexico Peru Uruguay Latin America Source: ECLAC (2001: 6).
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1999 Imports 4.0 3.7 20.9 26.4 16.9 8.8 12.8 9.9 Exports 10.9 8.0 34.8 65.4 35.5 13.4 19.2 19.8 Imports 13.1 9.4 26.7 60.1 36.3 14.0 22.2 20.1

8.2 7.1 25.4 25.4 15.1 10.5 15.9 12.1

Globalization and Latin American cities


Table 2 Economically active population by sector of employmenta (percentages in selected sectors)

Metropolitan Areab Manufacturing 1990c Buenos Aires Lima Mexico City Montevideo Santiago So Paulo 23.8 17.7 23.5 24.0 23.2 27.0 2000d 16.6 15.8 20.4 15.4 17.8 16.6 Economic Sector Commerce 1990c 16.9 31.2 20.7 15.7 16.3 14.6 2000d 17.8 28.6 22.1 17.0 18.6 16.6 Producer Services 1990c 7.8 5.5 6.6 6.9 5.3 10.2 2000d 11.3 6.7 8.3 11.2 9.1 11.1








The percentages are based on the employed population only. b This includes the central city and its surrounding urban areas. In the case of Seoul, for instance, it includes both Seoul and Kyunggi. c The beginning year is 1991 for Lima and Montevideo. d The end year is 2001 for So Paulo. Source: Household Surveys of Buenos Aires (EPH), Lima (ENNIV), Mexico City (ENEU), Montevideo (ECH), Santiago (CASEN), So Paulo (PNAD) and Seoul.

Argentina and Brazil increased their external trade mainly through imports, and in both countries, external trade dependence is very low. What do these trends mean for the economic and employment structures of major Latin American cities? Does globalization mean an increasing specialization of these cities in producer services for international, national and regional markets as the world city literature suggests? Table 2 shows the trends in the sectoral composition of the labor force for six major Latin American cities, focusing on manufacturing, commerce and producer services.2 I have included Seoul for comparative purposes because of its close links with the international economy as indicated by the large number of Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered there (Kwon, 2001).3 The data in Table 2 indicate that the increases in foreign investment and external trade in the 1990s have been associated with the increase in producer services as a proportion of employment. Note, also, the consistent decline in all seven cities in the proportions employed in manufacturing. Whereas in all the cities in 1990, with the exception of Lima, manufacturing employment was a larger proportion of the labor force than commerce, by 2000, only in Seoul was manufacturing a more important source of employment than was commerce. These trends conceal, I suggest, different underlying economic dynamics. The fastest rates of increase in the producer services occur in the two cities Santiago and Seoul whose countries did experience a relatively consistent export-oriented growth in the 1990s. Also, both Chilean and South Korean capital invested substantially in their respective regions of Latin America and Asia in this period. Mexico also had an exportoriented growth in the 1990s, but this was heavily based on the maquiladora (in-bond) industry, which, given Mexicos proximity to US producer service providers, was unlikely to stimulate the growth of complementary producer services within Mexico. The growth in producer services (nance, real estate, professional and nancial services) in the other cities is due, I suggest, to the role of these services in promoting and
2 I am grateful to Robin Luo who provided the data for the sectoral composition of the Latin American cities. 3 Mikyung Kim provided the sectoral data for Seoul and the data on Koreas multinational companies.
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Bryan R. Roberts

organizing domestic consumption in the modern economy, and not to any new function that these cities are playing in the organization of the global economy. Buenos Aires has always been one of the cities with the highest per capita income in Latin America and the overvalued peso of the 1990s fueled a major boom in consumption in which imports played a large part. The nance sector in Argentina helped develop that boom through consumer credit, but was less active in providing loans to small and mediumsize business or in investing in productive operations outside of Argentina. The relatively high cost of labor in Argentina also meant that there was little investment in export manufacturing. By 2002, both the Argentinean and Uruguayan nancial sectors were in deep crisis. So Paulo had the largest amount of employment in producer services in 1990, as bets the city that is most often listed as Latin Americas candidate for a regional world city. The increase in producer service employment was, however, modest by 2000, and far surpassed by Seoul. The growth in producer services in the Latin American cities is likely, however, to have similar consequences for class and income inequality. It reinforces a situation in which there is a polarization between the relatively few jobs that pay substantial incomes and the large majority of jobs that pay, at best, a subsistence wage. Producer service occupations demand very high levels of qualication, which places an effective barrier on social mobility for those without the cultural and material resources to gain the highest and, increasingly, privatized levels of education. It is on these consequences for inequality and vulnerability to poverty that I concentrate in the remainder of this article. These more indirect effects of economic globalization are likely to be a powerful homogenizing force for Latin American cities. To understand the novelty of these effects, we need to consider briey the effects of the apparently similar homogenizing forces affecting cities during the import-substituting industrialization (ISI) period of Latin American urban growth those of economic centralization and concentration that accompanied urbanization and industrialization. In the ISI period from the 1940s to the 1980s, urban labor markets begin with high levels of self-employment and informal employment in micro enterprises or unpaid family employment, but the share of these types of employment declined over time as a largescale domestic manufacturing industry and related services increased its share of urban employment (Oliveira and Roberts, 1994). In this period, even the informal sector was dynamically related to the large-scale sector, through subcontracting or through selling low-cost goods to the workers of the large-scale sector, goods that were not protable for the large-scale sector to produce. Another characteristic of labor markets during the ISI period is the dynamism of public sector employment. In the ISI period, state-led development meant the expansion of public employment. By the 1980s, this employment accounted for as much as half of white-collar employment in the cities of Latin America (ibid.). Because Latin American countries and cities were at different stages of development during the ISI period, there were marked contrasts in their labor markets, between, for instance, the highly formal labor markets of Buenos Aires and the high degree of informality of the Mexico City labor market. Through free trade in goods and capital, contemporary globalization simultaneously brings greater competition for domestic rms and provides the nancial and technological means whereby some rms, often foreign owned, meet that competition through restructuring. The effect is to increase the share of high-tech manufacturing and producer services in the Gross Domestic Product, but without a commensurate increase in employment in the dynamic sectors (Altimir and Beccaria, 1999). Small and medium-size rms, particularly in commerce and manufacturing, nd it difcult to compete and employment in them either declines absolutely or in terms of relative wages. In both cases, globalization is likely to mean that self-employment or employment under informal working conditions is likely to increase. Fiscal austerity policies resulting from debt renegotiation have reduced the growth of public sector employment, either absolutely or relatively, in Latin American cities. In many cases, the equivalent
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Globalization and Latin American cities


employment is taken up in the private and non-prot sector, often under less protected conditions of work. Labor market deregulation, often implemented as part of restructuring packages organized by the IMF, adds to informal working conditions by permitting employers to prolong the periods during which they can keep workers without formal contract or social security benets.

Inequality and vulnerability to poverty

I mainly use data from four cities to explore the implications of globalization for inequality and vulnerability to poverty Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Montevideo, Santiago.4 The four cities are similar in that they are the capitals of their respective countries and also head urban systems of high primacy. All four cities concentrate approximately 40% of their countries national product. They differ both in the complexity of their urban systems and in the timing of urbanization. Montevideo and Santiago are capitals of small countries with few economically important cities outside of the metropolitan regions. Buenos Aires and Mexico City dominate large countries, which have important provincial regions and provincial cities. Buenos Aires and Montevideo are examples of early urbanization in Latin America, attaining high rates of urban and industrial growth in the rst half of the twentieth century. This urbanization was accompanied by earlier reductions in fertility and population growth than elsewhere in Latin America. These countries and their urban populations also had the rst and most extensive social security coverage in Latin America. Chile and Santiago urbanized almost as rapidly, in the 1950s and 1960s, and also had an early and extensive development of social security protection. Mexico City was the last of the four cities to grow rapidly and to industrialize, its highest rates of growth being in the 1960s and 1970s. It was slower than the other countries in extending social security protection to the population. The four cities and their respective countries have acquired somewhat different roles in the global economy. Argentina and Uruguay have maintained their traditional roles as exporters of primary products, and to a lesser extent, of sophisticated manufactured goods. Both Buenos Aires and Montevideo provide nancial and professional services for the region, but their importance in this respect is challenged by the increasing dominance of So Paulo in the regional economy. With a smaller internal market, Uruguay is much more dependent than Argentina on external trade. Chile has, in recent years, acquired a special niche in the global economy. Non-traditional agricultural products, such as fruit and wine, now complement its traditional exports of copper and other mining products. The nancial services sector located in Santiago is also acquiring a regional presence that it did not have before. Mexico has similarly acquired a special niche in the global economy. The in-bond manufacturing sector the maquiladora sector located mainly on the northern border of Mexico is, along with petroleum, tourism and migrant remittances, the major source of the countrys export earnings. Mexico Citys role within Mexicos urban system is increasingly that of a producer services and commercial center.
4 These data come from a project on Assets and Vulnerability in the Southern Cone of Latin America directed by Ruben Kaztman and Guillermo Wormald, with the collaboration of Carlos Filgueira and Luz Cereceda, and funded by the Ford Foundation (Kaztman and Wormald, 2002). Three doctoral candidates at the University of Texas at Austin and myself were associated with this project, with responsibility for the analysis of the data for Mexico City and Buenos Aires. The data are obtained from labor market surveys in the four countries and from community-based interviews in three of the cities (Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago). The interpretation given in this article and any errors in comparability are my sole responsibility. They are taken from chapters written by Carlos Filgueira, Guillermo Wormald and Luz Cerceda, Georgina Rojas, Cristina Bayon and Gonzalo Saravi.
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116 Economic insecurity

Bryan R. Roberts

By various measures of economic insecurity, the situation of the economically active population worsens in the four cities included in the project.5 In Buenos Aires, the proportion of heads of households who are unemployed increases from 6% to 14.7% between 1990 and 2000 and those without social security coverage increases from 25.3% in 1990 to 35.2% in 2000 (Bayn and Sarav, 2002: 848). In Mexico City, the proportion of the economically active population that had no coverage during the whole year increased from 22.9% in 199091 to 34.2% in 19992000 (Rojas, 2002: Cuadro 8, 10). Unemployment, in contrast remained relatively constant, declining from 6% to 3.9% between 1990 and 2000 or from 6.6% to 5.6% if those that work less than 15 hours a week are added to the open unemployment gure (ibid.: 276). In Montevideo, underemployment and insecure (lack of social security coverage and lack of written contract) working conditions increases from 20.5% of the economically active population in 1991 to 21.5% of the population in 1998); open unemployment increases from 8.9% to 11.7% (Filgueira, 2002: Cuadros 67). In Chile, which had the fastest rate of economic growth of the four countries, open unemployment increased from 7.9% in 1990 to 9.7% in 1998; the percentage of full-time employees without a contract increases from 11.8% to 15.8%; and the proportion of the economically active population who were working under insecure conditions (without social security protection and/or receiving one or less minimum salaries) increases from 4.2% in 1990 to 7.9% in 1998 (Wormald et al., 2002: Cuadros 1924, 30). Note the differences between the four cities in the ways that labor markets worsened during the 1990s. In the two labor markets that historically had the most formal labor markets and strongest system of labor protection Buenos Aires and Montevideo the proportions of open unemployment increase faster than precarious employment. In Mexico City, in contrast, unemployment decreases, but precarious employment increases substantially. Unemployment in Buenos Aires is concentrated among women and the young. In both cases, these are usually dependent members of a household. Since rates of female participation in the labor market have been higher in Buenos Aires than in Mexico City, higher unemployment in Buenos Aires is partly explained by the greater demand for work on the part of women. However, women in Mexico City are also increasingly entering the labor market and are nding work, even if at low levels of pay and under informal working conditions. So what is it that enables people under the conditions of Mexico City to nd work, but not in Buenos Aires? A possible explanation for these differences is the degree of formalization of the labor market resulting both from labor regulations and from the nature of the urban environment. Buenos Aires has extensive regulations covering not only employment, but also self and family employment. It is also a city with high transport costs. In contrast, Mexicos labor regulations are often ignored in practice and transport is subsidized. Moreover, the relatively more informal living environment of Mexico City means that people can get by on less than in Buenos Aires. In Chile, both unemployment and precarious employment increase at similar rates. The indirect effects of globalization in the cases of Mexico City and, to a lesser extent, Santiago, are, I suggest, to make pay and conditions of work even worse, but do not eliminate the possibility of getting employment. The dynamism of the informal economy is undermined by cheap imports and by high-tech sectors in manufacturing and services, which do not put out work, as did the domestic manufacturing sector of ISI.
Poverty and inequality

The trend in terms of poverty is in a different direction, and varies more between cities (see Table 3). In general, there appears to be a reduction in poverty throughout the decade, with the partial exception of Mexico City. In Montevideo, the percentages of
5 The following statistics are taken from Kaztman and Wormald (2002).
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Globalization and Latin American cities

Table 3 Evolution of household poverty (comparable years)
% Households below the poverty line Santiago 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 28.5 22.1 17.8 12.4 12.4 12.7 Buenos Aires 25.1 14.3 14.2 19.4 18.2 20.4 Montevideo 20.5 15.0 12.8 15.9 15.9


Mexico City 50.0 47.5 46.5 59.7 56.5 51.4

Sources: Bayn and Sarav (2002), Filgueira (2002), Rojas (2002), Wormald et al. (2002)

homes falling beneath the poverty line decreases from 20.5% in 1990 to 16% in 1998 (Filgueira, 2002: 358). As in Buenos Aires and Mexico City, however, the greatest reduction in poverty occurs in the rst half of the decade, and poverty rises thereafter. In Mexico City, households below the poverty line rose slightly from 50% in 1990 to 51.4% in 2000. This apparent stability hides considerable uctuation with a reduction in poverty to 46.5% in 1994, a rapid increase until 1997 to a high of 60.9% and a decline thereafter (Rojas, 2002: Grco 2). In Buenos Aires, households below the poverty line decrease from 25.1% to 20.4% of the total between 1990 and 2000. In Buenos Aires the sharpest decline was to 12.7% in 1993, followed by an increase in levels of poverty to 19.4% in 1996, and a further decline to 17.9% in 1999 (Bayn and Sarav, 2002: Cuadro 18). Santiago is the only one of the four cities, in which the decrease in the proportion of households beneath the poverty line is consistent throughout the decade, declining from 28.5% in 1990 to 12.7% in 2000 (Wormald et al., 2002: Cuadro 5). The reduction in urban poverty in the 1990s is one of the more positive aspects of the economic growth of the period. However, the uctuations in poverty in the decade are also considerable, adding to the vulnerability of households. We can probe these trends further by looking at the vulnerability of different groups to poverty in the two cities Mexico City and Buenos Aires for which panel data are available.6 Many more families are vulnerable to being in poverty at some stage during a year than are actually in poverty at any given time. Both in Mexico City and in Buenos Aires, household poverty increases by over 60% when it is measured by experience of poverty at some stage during the year. In both cities, vulnerability to poverty increases during the decade. The households most affected by poverty, as might be expected, are those in the lowest socio-economic strata, but by the end of the decade there is an increase in the proportions of households in the higher socio-economic strata that experience poverty (Bayn and Sarav, 2002; Rojas, 2002). If poverty became somewhat less of a problem in some Latin American cities, income inequality remained a persistent problem throughout the decade in most countries and cities. In Chile, the already high Gini coefcient of 0.57 for metropolitan Santiago in 1990 slightly increased to the 0.58 level by 1998, despite the reductions in poverty. Economic growth in Chile and in Santiago increased the incomes of the top deciles of the income distribution as fast as the incomes of the lowest deciles. In 1990 the bottom 40% of income earners received 12.6% of total income, whereas the top 20% received 56.9%. By 2000, the bottom 40% received 12.5% of income, and the top 20% remained at 56.9% (Wormald et al.: Cuadro 9). In Mexico City, the only two occupational groups to increase their real income between 1990 and 2000 were the managerial/professional groups and the technical/semi-professional groups. All the other groups saw their real incomes decline
6 The household surveys in Mexico City and Buenos Aires re-interview the same families over a period of a year.
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Bryan R. Roberts

(Rojas, 2002: Cuadro 13). In Buenos Aires, the Gini coefcient of income inequality increased from 0.406 to 0.414 between 1990 and 1997. In 1980, the Gini coefcient for Buenos Aires had been 0.387 (Bayn and Sarav, 2002: Cuadro 2). Only urban Uruguay showed a decline in the Gini coefcient in CEPALs gures from 0.353 in 1990 to 0.300 in 1997, though this was contradicted by other studies (Filgueira, 2002: 333).
Spatial segregation

Globalization exercises an important indirect impact on the Latin American city in terms of socio-spatial segregation. The spatial segregation of cities by social class or ethnicity and by functional uses is a long observed process in the cities of the developed world, resulting from the operation of land markets and social discrimination. In the cities of Latin America, during the ISI period, spatial segregation was complicated by the imperfection of land markets and by the political necessity of permitting informal settlement as a solution to the problem of housing. Thus, the evidence for spatial segregation was contradictory (Portes, 1989). In some cities, such as Santiago, where dictatorship could ignore popular demand for housing close to sources of work, there was a clear process of segregation. In others, segregation remained the same or declined, as the poor sought out housing in unlled spaces near the wealthy and as a middle class under nancial pressure sought cheaper housing in low-income areas. The current situation is more homogeneous for several reasons. There are few available spaces left for informal settlement in the large Latin American cities, other than on the far outskirts of the city. While this is, of course, not a result of globalization, it means that changes in urban spatial organization are now more likely to come from above, through large capital investments, and not from below through land invasion. The deregulation of land markets and the free movement of capital has brought substantial investments in all Latin American cities in large-scale commercial developments, such as shopping malls, and in luxury housing, both in the center city and in suburban locations. The ability of the rich to segregate themselves from the poor has thus increased, as has been noted in studies of Rio de Janeiro and other Latin American cities (Preteceille and Ribeiro, 1999). Another feature of this process is the phenomenon of gated communities where fences, gates and armed guards mark spatial segregation. The growth of such communities has been rapid in recent years in Buenos Aires, in Mexico City and in the Brazilian cities. This spatial segregation increases inequality. As Kaztman (1999: 26396) has shown, when the poor live in homogeneously poor neighborhoods, they score lower on a series of health, work and educational indicators than do the poor who live in more heterogeneous neighborhoods. Similar results appear in the community-based analyses that were done in Montevideo, Santiago and Buenos Aires as part of the Activos y Vulnerabilidad project. In one of the outlying low-income neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, for instance, distance from centers of work and the relatively homogeneous poverty make it difcult for people to get work, to get help locally or to travel to nd work or help. The suggestion is that in homogeneously poor neighborhoods, facilities are likely to be in worse condition, are over-used, and provide lower levels of health and educational care. Even social capital is likely to be of less utility. Granovetter (1973) shows how even strong ties with friends and neighbors are of little utility if there are no resources to share or no one has access to jobs. The public-private divide also puts the public sector at a competitive disadvantage. Better pay and conditions of work mean that the private sector can recruit the best teachers and medical personnel.

The fourth area in which globalization is shaping Latin American cities in broadly similar ways is through public policy. The issues facing urban policy-makers are now more similar than they were in the period of ISI. An important reason for this similarity
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is that globalization is accompanied by a relatively uniform policy agenda of economic reform advocated by the international lending agencies. Privatization and the relative reduction in state direct expenditures are part of a package accepted with various degrees of enthusiasm by Latin American governments. Perhaps the most signicant part of this package in terms of the organization of the Latin American cities is administrative decentralization. Decentralization is now in full swing in most Latin American countries, even in those like Chile, which are not federations and have a highly centralized tradition of public administration. Decentralization entails the devolution of responsibilities for education, health and social welfare from national government to lower order administrative units, such as regional units (states, provinces, etc.) or municipalities. In metropolitan areas, decentralization may mean the devolution of national responsibilities to districts within the metropolis instead of to a metropolitan government. Accompanying decentralization is an emphasis on encouraging citizen participation in decision-making, which is also found in each of the cities that I am considering and also elsewhere in Latin America, such as in Brazil and in Peru. Countering the participatory aspects of centralization are the targeting policies that are often part of the decentralization program. These provide subsidies to the most needy people who are identied by a means test administered by local government ofcials. This subsidy, however, is at times in place of subsidies previously given to community organizations, such as comedores (soup kitchens). One effect of this can be to reduce the amount of help that the very poor receive since they are no longer part of a community-based network that includes the somewhat better-off members of the neighborhood who previously had given their time to run the community organization. This has been an issue in Lima, where the Fujimori government sought to weaken popular organizations such as the comedores, and give aid directly and clientelistically to the very poor.7 In the current period, decentralization can thus have both negative and positive implications for the welfare of urban inhabitants. Because of scal austerity, decentralization often means the devolving of responsibilities without the nance needed to implement them effectively. Since many lower-order administrative units have neither the experience nor the personnel to run the new responsibilities, this can lead to less effective services at the local level in education, health and welfare. However, local administration when accompanied by effective participation by local citizen organizations can lead to a more efcient use of resources through community mobilization and input. These issues are an important current research agenda, as local government becomes a crucial issue in the Latin American city (Spink, 2000).

Globalization and popular participation

The other side of economic restructuring in the 1990s has been the intensication of citizenship concerns. This has come from various sources. One of these is the coming to power of democratic governments in the late 1980s and 1990s, seeking to break with authoritarian regimes. This was the case in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay; but even in Mexico, where the PRI, did not lose power until 2000, there had been a growing emphasis on democratization and citizen participation. In each country, the national government runs various programs designed to increase local participation in decisionmaking and these are complemented or rivaled by municipal programs. The international agencies such as the World Bank stress, as part of their social agenda, decentralization and citizen participation. In all four countries, the international lending agencies and the United Nations have sponsored projects to raise consciousness about womens rights, childrens rights and the rights of citizens in general.
7 Personal communication from Josefina Huaman of Alternativa, Lima.
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Equally, if not more important, the number of national and international NGOs concerned with advocacy and community development has risen enormously. An example from Brazil illustrates the magnitude of this increase. In Brazil, the not-forprot sector added 344,149 jobs between 1991 and 1995 to employ 1,119,533 people (Landim and Beres, 1999). Advocacy groups use international forums and the United Nations to heighten awareness of the rights of women, children, minority ethnic groups and other potentially vulnerable groups. Governments often adopt their conclusions. These international forums have their counterparts in meetings within countries, mothers clubs, soup kitchens, neighborhood associations and so on. With the help of NGOs, these local associations formulate their own demands, incorporating many of those advocated internationally. The effectiveness of this citizen participation and of rights advocacy in inuencing outcomes is not clear. The many social movements in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s had little clear impact in changing the structure of economic inequality. Urban social movements were, on the whole, ineffective in changing urban power structures and in securing a better quality of life for the urban poor (Touraine, 1987; Gilbert, 1998). However, as Jelin (1996) points out, the effectiveness of participation and of rights advocacy lies as much in the process itself, as in concrete changes in laws or dramatic shifts in the distribution of resources. The increase in public discourse about rights and about participation and the activities at the local level around these issues change the language of political debate. Governments and elites may still seek to impose policies from above, but they are constrained to do so through the words and symbols that recognize citizens as participative and rights bearing. Emblematic of this in the countries that I am discussing is the wide use of Mesas de Concertacin (Roundtables for reaching agreement) in public policy. These meet at the local and national levels, stress participation by community representatives and serve as a forum for airing public policies. These developments do not necessarily alter power structures. Indeed, they may deepen and strengthen the forms of control from above. Latin American states have become more active and managerial (Bresser Pereira and Cunill Grau, 1998). This is also the case in the four countries considered here. There is, for instance, an increasing rationalization of citizenship in which bureaucracies emphasize means, such as numbers participating in courses or attending meetings, rather than the ends of increasing effective citizen demand-making (Roberts, 2005). Also, the penetration of the state in the lives of the Latin American urban population has increased enormously in recent decades. National and local government agencies have become more active in implementing anti-poverty and community development initiatives in many low-income neighborhoods. Add to these initiatives the increasing contact with state agencies through programs in preventative health or parental involvement in education. When to state activities are added those of NGOs, there is a sense in which, in contrast to the 1960s, no one leaves the poor alone any more. When they are effective and often they are not they are positive developments for the welfare of low-income populations. However, the main point I want to derive from this increasing citizenrelated activity is that the lives of city dwellers in Latin America have become inextricably bound into a web of relations that are local, national and international. I conclude this section by considering a relatively new initiative in citizen participation that has been launched in Peru Mesas de Concertacin en contra la Pobreza. The origin of these Mesas lies in the early 1990s when they emerged among community groups as a means of mobilizing local energies to combat food and other shortages in Lima and elsewhere. With the fall of Fujimori in 2000, the transition government passed a law that made the Mesas de Concertacin a constitutional requirement. By law, Mesas have to be established in every province of the country, with one for the metropolitan area of Lima. Each Mesa has a council made up of representatives of government, of NGOs, of the churches and of community organizations. There is a national Mesa to coordinate the work of the provincial ones. The tasks of the Mesas are to formulate short, medium and long-term priorities for
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Globalization and Latin American cities


community development in terms of urban or rural infrastructure, health and educational services, security, recreation and job creation. The short-term priorities are, in effect, an executive plan for the following year. In the case of Lima, these plans are formulated through working-groups created at the municipal and cono (district made up of several municipalities) level. Community organizations discuss their priorities and elect representatives to attend the meetings. The priorities of the various districts and conos are reconciled at meetings at the metropolitan level. Once the strategic plans are nalized, they are passed to Congress and to the appropriate government departments. There is, however, no clear mechanism to ensure that these plans become part of the budget of the government. In the meeting of the Mesa for metropolitan Lima that I attended in July of 2001, about 200 people were present to discuss the stages in formulating the plans. The majority of those attending were representatives of community organizations neighborhood associations, housing associations, mothers clubs, soup kitchens etc. There were several mayors of municipalities, NGO workers and some national government ofcials. An economist from an NGO explained the planning process, including the legal requirements for the budgetary process in Peru. The audience participated actively, with a little tension between participants in terms of priorities and in terms of the feeling of community representatives that NGO workers sometimes did not take their opinions seriously. A community representative presented the plan for health of one of the Conos. The analysis of the health decits in the Cono was statistically detailed and convincing. The solutions more medical personnel, betterequipped clinics, and free medicines were also specic and ordered in priority. My purpose in describing this meeting is to make the basic point that the process of participation inevitably raises community awareness of urban inequalities and of citizen rights. There are, of course, many people in low-income Lima neighborhoods who do not participate, but most are likely to have a neighbor, friend or a relative that does. If government does not respond, at least partially, to the demands that are being formulated then it runs the risk of confrontations as a result of the heightened expectations raised by the participatory process. Remember, also, that these grass-roots activities have considerable visibility nationally and internationally. They are reported in the media and supported by international advocacy groups, which both provide information to local groups and receive it from them. Globalization has, then, a pervasive inuence on popular participation and on the sense of rights in Latin American cities. The process it represents and its potential consequences for redressing urban inequalities both need study.

The impact of globalization on Latin American cities is ambiguous and contradictory. The impact of economic globalization on labor markets and on the conguration of urban space accentuates economic insecurity and urban inequalities. Indirectly, it isolates low-income populations, reducing the public spaces in which they interact with the better-off population as private facilities for health, education and recreation spring up around the city. At the same time, globalization has promoted a greater awareness on the part of governments, international organizations and citizens of the need for innovation in social policy. It has also promoted the spread of information of their rights among low-income populations. Whereas economic policy is bereft of new ideas, social policy has become the forum for discussing alternative ways forward. The scal austerity imposed by economic policy make these something of an illusion, but they are illusions that generate much debate and much activity at the local level. The local level is now, much more than in the past, a dynamic interface where state, international organizations, NGOs and the poor interrelate. It is thus likely to alter the nature of urban government. Authoritarian bureaucracy combined with clientelism might have been sufcient to order the Latin American cities of the past. Now control is more
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likely to depend on managerial administration combined with at least the appearance of citizen participation.
Bryan R. Roberts(brr@prc.utexas.edu), Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, 1800 Main Building, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

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