Big business and bureaucratic-authoritarianism in Uruguay: a network based story of policy permeation for self-preservation
Bogliaccini, Juan Ariel
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Between 1973 and 1985, Uruguay was ruled by a Bureaucratic-Authoritarian regime. Following regional trends, this period mostly coincided with the stagnation of the industrialization model oriented toward the domestic market. The transition into an open-market model, however, did not display the same characteristics of other countries such as Chile, where the adoption of free-market reforms was more radical, displacing previous institutions. This chapter argues that the organization of corporate Uruguay around business groups was a crucial element to neutralize potential negative consequences of the economic reforms and, in turn, shaped the form of the liberalization process. Two main adaptive strategies on the part of business are found: direct and individualized participation in government, and financial mismanagement. The analysis is based on a combination of historical and network analysis to show how the structure of the business community and corporate finance made these two adaptive strategies possible. As a result, the corporate governance structure of Uruguay was not dramatically altered by either the dictatorship or the liberalization process.
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