Argentine Democracy: The Politics of Institutional Weakness

Paperback | February 6, 2006

EditorSteven Levitsky, María Victoria Murillo

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During the 1990s Argentina was the only country in Latin America to combine radical economic reform and full democracy. In 2001, however, the country fell into a deep political and economic crisis and was widely seen as a basket case. This book explores both developments, examining the links between the (real and apparent) successes of the 1990s and the 2001 collapse. Specific topics include economic policymaking and reform, executive-legislative relations, the judiciary, federalism, political parties and the party system, and new patterns of social protest.

Beyond its empirical analysis, the book contributes to several theoretical debates in comparative politics. Contemporary studies of political institutions focus almost exclusively on institutional design, neglecting issues of enforcement and stability. Yet a major problem in much of Latin America is that institutions of diverse types have often failed to take root.

Besides examining the effects of institutional weakness, the book also uses the Argentine case to shed light on four other areas of current debate: tensions between radical economic reform and democracy; political parties and contemporary crises of representation; links between subnational and national politics; and the transformation of state-society relations in the post-corporatist era.

Besides the editors, the contributors are Javier Auyero, Ernesto Calvo, Kent Eaton, Sebastián Etchemendy, Gretchen Helmke, Wonjae Hwang, Mark Jones, Enrique Peruzzotti, Pablo T. Spiller, Mariano Tommasi, and Juan Carlos Torre.

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During the 1990s Argentina was the only country in Latin America to combine radical economic reform and full democracy. In 2001, however, the country fell into a deep political and economic crisis and was widely seen as a basket case. This book explores both developments, examining the links between the (real and apparent) successes of...

Steven Levitsky is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University. María Victoria Murillo is Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6.05 × 0.9 inPublished:February 6, 2006Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271027169

ISBN - 13:9780271027166

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Acronyms

Introduction

Steven Levitsky and María Victoria Murillo

PART I: INSTITUTIONS, ACTORS, AND THE POLITICS OF ECONOMIC REFORM

1. Building Castles in the Sand?

The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Argentina

Steven Levitsky and María Victoria Murillo

2. The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A

Transaction Cost Approach and Its Application to Argentina

Pablo T. Spiller and Mariano Tommasi

3. Old Actors in New Markets: Transforming the

Populist/Industrial Coalition in Argentina, 1989–2001

Sebastián Etchemendy

4. Menem and the Governors: Intergovernmental

Relations in the 1990s

Kent Eaton

PART II: RETHINKING DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS

5. Provincial Party Bosses: Keystone of the Argentine Congress

Mark P. Jones and Wonjae Hwang

6. Enduring Uncertainty: Court-Executive Relations in Argentina During the 1990s and Beyond

Gretchen Helmke

PART III: CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN THE ARGENTINE PARTY SYSTEM

7. Citizens Versus Political Class: The Crisis of Partisan Representation

Juan Carlos Torre

8. Crisis and Renovation: Institutional Weakness and the Transformation of Argentine Peronism, 1983–2003

Steven Levitsky

9. The New Iron Law of Argentine Politics? Partisanship,Clientelism, and Governability in Contemporary Argentina

Ernesto Calvo and María Victoria Murillo

PART IV: EMERGING PATTERNS OF CIVIC ORGANIZATION AND PROTEST

10. Demanding Accountable Government: Citizens, Politicians,and the Perils of Representative Democracy in Argentina

Enrique Peruzzotti

11. Protest and Politics in Contemporary Argentina

Javier Auyero

Conclusion: Theorizing About Weak Institutions: Lessons From the Argentine Case

Steven Levitsky and María Victoria Murillo

References

Contributors

Index

Editorial Reviews

“The book is a must-read for graduate students, scholars, and even policy-makers interested in Argentine politics, economic reform, political institutions and state-society relations. It provides empirically and theoretically rich studies of the institutional frailties of economic policy-making in Argentina during the 1990s, the pathologies of fiscal federalism, the influence of governors on national politics, the changing role of the judiciary, and the dynamics of social mobilization and protest.”—Gabriel L. Negretto, Latin American Politics and Society