The subnational politics of structured adjustment in Argentina : the case of San Luis
Author(s)Guiñazú, María Clelia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
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The launching of liberal economic reforms in emerging democratic societies during the 1980s and 1990s arouse widespread scholarly interest. The Argentine policy shift to structural adjustment under President Carlos Menem (1989-1995 and 1995-1999) was largely regarded by the literature as a successful example of radical market-oriented reforms. Despite major policy achievements, crisis and socio-political conflict in the provincial arena pervaded the Argentine road to structural adjustment. After the mid-1990s, it was clear that the political and fiscal situation of the provinces was one of the weakest spots the Argentine unconstrained model of liberal economic reforms. In a federal country characterized by dramatic regional asymmetries, the reversal of past equalizing polices had significant political and economic effects. Although subnational responses to structural adjustment varied, successful provincial performers were the exception rather than the rule. San Luis, an intermediate development province traditionally dependent on national revenue transfers appeared to be one of the most successful cases of policy adaptation to market-oriented reforms. Not only did San Luis perform quite successfully in the hostile environment of structural adjustment but the province represents an almost unique case of enduring late state-led industrialization and state building in a situation characterized by the decreasing capacity of the provincial administrations to efficiently manage the implementation of belt-tightening economic reforms. This thesis is about an unexpected subnational outcome:(cont.) successful adaptation to structural adjustment associated with a one-party dominant provincial state and state-led development policies in a peripheral Argentine province. The research explains San Luis' peculiar road to structural adjustment and explores, in light of this case study, the largely understudied relationship between liberal economic reforms and subnational politics in democratic developing federations. The thesis's analytical framework focuses on the role of political strategizing and political leadership in the management of change. It also proposes to unpack the historical complexities of subnational political regimes and to analyze them in their intersection with national politics and policy currents at critical political junctures.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2003.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 200-220).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology