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Using the example of reforms in Bolivia, the author discusses `second generation’ structural and institutional reforms taking place in Latin America, in the aftermath of Structural Adjustment Programmes’ (SAPs) failure to reduce poverty and inequality. Providing a new context for social policy and participation, the most radical reform in Bolivia is the Popular Participation Law, intended to decentralise the allocation and administration of resources and encourage participation in democracy from all sectors of Bolivian society. According to the author, the Law has been only partially successful in achieving these aims, and he discusses its limitations.

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