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1.3.3: Political economy of private and public institutions
Monday, 31/May/2021:
2:30pm - 4:00pm

Session Chair: Larry Swatuk
Technical chair: Kate Grantham
Location: Room 3


Overview of the pension system in Mexico and Chile. A path to inequality and precarity

Teresa Lizeth Alanis Gutiérrez

Postdoc at Institute of Economic Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico. IIEc-UNAM

The last decades have been characterized by neoliberal hegemony and the deepening of the process of financial globalization, generating instability, financial and productive crises, austerity policies, financial speculation and increasing uncertainty in the labor market, which is reflected in the increased of unemployment, informality, inequality and precarity. In addition to these unresolved problems, the current global pandemic crisis has deepened the gaps of inequality and income concentration.

In this context, of continuous structural reforms, ageing of the population and changes in the labour market, the social security has been transformed and privatized.

Social security, in particular, pension system should guarantee stability for workers at the end of their working lives, however, the measures that have been adopted cause weakening and uncertainty in the system, reflecting its failure to guarantee a dignified retirement for the working class.

The objective of this collaboration is to explain the inequalities of pension system in Mexico and Chile, and the recent reforms to their pension systems which do not allow to face the current challenges and limitations.

Forms of capital implicated in the elite school advertisements

Rajender Singh

University of Western Ontario, Canada

This article offers a critical media analysis of the notions of 'quality education' communicated through the flagship video advertisements of five elite private schools in Himachal Pradesh, a north Indian state. The five schools were chosen based on the overwhelming presence of their students in the merit list of state-level year-end examinations for grades 10th and 12th. In particular, I draw upon the Bourdieuan lens of the forms of capital to illustrate how these schools construct and convey particular ideas of excellent education conveying school as a site to acquire five distinct forms of capital - material capital, cultural capital, moral capital, network capital, and also some flavor of India's spiritual capital. In doing so, this research contributes to the broader discourse of the hegemonically aspirational and middle-class character of school education as can be delineated from the school promotional materials.

Vending Cruel Hope: A Case Study on Public Primary Schooling in Jamaica

Giselle Francine Thompson

York University, Canada

Using an anti-colonial theoretical framework, this paper unearths, what I refer to as, “cruel hope.” My first indictment of hope is directed towards the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) veneered prospectus, which markets the organization as a salvific entity for debt-riddled countries. The IMF’s supposed panacea-cocktail packages and sells hope, but is understood to have created much economic and social devastation (Desai, 2017), particularly in the area of public education (Thompson, 2020, 2014), which is this paper’s unit of analysis. My second indictment of hope is directed towards the United Nations for its tendency to put forward unfeasible socio-educational stratagem. There is an apparent disconnect between official discourse (i.e., “universal,” “compulsory,” “free”) and what happens on the ground (Buchanan, 2019; Somé, 2010). It appears as though the United Nations and its constituents are obsessed with seeing a proliferation of schools, and are less concerned with the quality and sustainability of education (Somé, 2010). Therefore, this paper necessarily interrogates the inherent coloniality of international politics, economics and social governance and their proclivity to deal policy-based hope to nation-states as though it were a euphoria-inducing drug. A drug that inhibits the international community’s ability to soberly acknowledge that, in spite of expert planning, many primary schools in the Global South remain aged and decrepit, over worked and understaffed, inadequately resourced and in dire fiscal strain because their governments cannot adequately support them. Empirical data that were collected during an ethnographic case study at a rural public primary school in the parish of Hanover, Jamaica in 2018 will be utilized in order to bolster my arguments.