Public policies are based on the connections between several actors, within institutional environments and crossing organizational boundaries. These interactions involve conflicts, interests, ideas and inequalities of political resources. Although these ideas are almost undisputed in the international literature, they tend to have only a small influence in Latin-American social sciences. This absence is in part counterintuitive, since the analyses of political systems in Latin America have emphasized since the 1960s the importance of traditional and modern economic elites in the formation and the workings of local nation States. In part this is explained by the coexistence of traditional approaches which highlight the importance of societal groups (especially economic elites) in the study of local political systems, with a more recent line of studies which gives great prominence to electoral dynamics, political parties and executive-legislative relationships. The first type of analysis is concerned with what happens outside formal political institutions but does not seek to operationalize empirical research to precise how this happens, while the second considers the political process as basically confined by formal institutions, actors and relationships.