The Political Strategies of Free-Market Think Tanks in Argentina and Chile

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

Free-market think tanks have expanded at a constant rate since the 1980s worldwide. However, Latin America has seen unprecedented growth in the number of these organizations during the last twenty years, with many countries currently witnessing a rebirth of right-wing political actors. Which are the strategies devised by civil society organizations to generate consensus for neoliberal policymaking after the initial wave of market-oriented reforms? And how do national contexts inform variation in the strategies these organizations develop in the long term? My project provides a novel operationalization of think tanks’ political influence and hypothesizes that certain types of strategies have become more prevalent than others depending on historical processes of coalition-building with local actors. To explain this variation, I will process-trace the historical development of think tanks' strategies in Argentina and Chile, two countries that present the highest number of organizations but diverge widely in their local political conditions.