In Democracy without Equity, Weyland investigates the crucial political issue for many Latin American countries: the possibility for redistributing wealth and power through the democratic process. He focuses on Brazil’s redistributive initiatives in tax policy, social security, and health care. Weyland’s work is based on some 260 interviews with interest group representatives, politicians, and bureaucrats, the publications of interest groups, speeches of policy makers, newspaper accounts, legislative bills, congressional committee reports, and more. He concludes that, in countries whose society and political parties are fragmented, the prospects for effective redistributive policies are poor.
Democracy without Equity is part of the rich literature on the relationship between democracy and equity.
Kurt Weyland is assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. He has published articles on the rise and fall of Brazil’s President Collor, on democracy in contemporary Latin America, and on organization theory.