Panel Paper: The New Role of Cities As Local Welfare Systems in Mexico: Addressing Theoretical Insights

Friday, July 20, 2018
Building 3, Room 210 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Anahely Medrano-Buenrostro, CONACyT-CentroGeo

The territorial dimension of social policy, and, particularly, the key role of cities in the production of welfare is increasingly studied. However, this is the case mainly in developed countries. In these countries, national social policies functioned as the essential way to achieve social citizenship, and, therefore, to guarantee a basic ground of social welfare to all citizens. Prior to different decentralization processes, sub-national social policy was irrelevant. In consequence, the analysis of subnational social policy was practically absent. Since the 1990s, sub-national social policy had gained more attention in the literature. In this line, analysts have increasingly recognized the role of cities in the production of welfare. This recognition derived from different structural changes in the social policy arena, which in turn, raised awareness of the territorial dimension of social policy. These changes are reflected into two aspects. First, social policies are now designed, funded and implemented at different territorial levels. Second, the increasing the number and type of actors involved in the activities related to the making and implementation of social policy. Hence, scholars started to reconsider the territorial dimension in their analytical frameworks as a privileged perspective to understand the new role of cities and of local welfare systems. The principal aim of this paper is to discuss the main guidelines of such analytical frameworks to develop an adequate framework to study the case of Mexico City, where different social policy changes have happened in the last two decades.