Political Science: Argentina Democracy in Term Paper

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Those voices and protests helped force the democratic regime to respond. But there has been no "profound process of 'democratic deepening' to be detected," Wolff explains. The main obstacles that prevent a stronger impact on the part of the piquetero movement are one, only the piquetero leaders actually participate in government legislative dynamics; and two, the social "category" of the piquetero ("unemployed workers") does not reflect what Wolff calls "a viable social cleavage on which to build distinct political organizations."

Further evidence of the challenges and obstacles faced by the unemployed workers' movement (piquetero) - in attempting to legitimize their demands and force the national government to create more jobs - is explained on pages 175-176 in John Peeler's text Building Democracy in Latin America. For one thing, in Argentine the political power (for the most part) over the past fifty years or more has been in the hands of two parties, the "Peronists" and the "radicals." Another powerful group (the National Solidarity Front, FREPASO) tried to take power away from the two parties in the 1990s, with a program of "anticorruption." But they failed. They were organized nationally, but the piquetero group has never been that organized and had that much clout. For another thing, Peeler explains is that the leadership of both parties - "especially the Peronists" - have regarded themselves as "movements rather than parties." This means that a movement tends to represent the "whole nation" and a "party" just represents one part of the nation. With two established "movements" constantly getting national power and attention, how could a third, the piquetero movement, gain a foothold in a nation so traditionally locked into those two political forces?

Another article in the Journal of Latin American Studies (Silva, 2006); this is a review of the book the State of Democracy in Latin America and through it Silva explains that the "process of state formation" over the past twenty years in Argentina "frustrates the fulfillment of democracy's promise." And as a result, Silva explains, the aspirations of millions of people in Argentina who want "fair and free elections, separation of powers, accountable governments, political parties" and rights of citizens (including human rights) are "stillborn." In fact, the challenges and obstacles facing "subordinate social groups" are to narrow the gap of "exclusion" they now face from the "socio-economic elites" who have "historically dominated them..."

In conclusion, scholar Ivan Llamazares writes in Social Forces that "Argentine political institutions present a very mixed record." On the one hand the institutions and leadership have made contributions to democracy, but they have "failed to give rise to a stable political environment"; and moreover, those institutions have not contributed to "the improvement of Arg3entine social, economic, and political conditions."

Bibliography

Bonner, Michelle D. 2005, 'Defining rights in democratization: the Argentine government and human rights organizations, 1983-2003', Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 55-77.

Gelineau, Francois and Remmer, Karen L. 2006, 'Political decentralization and electoral accountability: the Argentine experience, 1983-2001, British Journal of Political Science, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 133-158.

Llamazares, Ivan 2005, 'Patterns in Contingencies: the interlocking of formal and informal political institutions in contemporary Argentina', Social Forces, vol. 83, no. 4, pp. 1671-1696.

Peeler, John 1998. Building Democracy in Latin America. Boulder CO, Lynne Rienner.

Silva, Eduardo 2006, 'The State of Democracy in Latin America: Post-Transitional Conflicts in Argentina and Chile', Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 219-222.

Wolff, Jonas 2007,…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Bonner, Michelle D. 2005, 'Defining rights in democratization: the Argentine government and human rights organizations, 1983-2003', Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 55-77.

Gelineau, Francois and Remmer, Karen L. 2006, 'Political decentralization and electoral accountability: the Argentine experience, 1983-2001, British Journal of Political Science, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 133-158.

Llamazares, Ivan 2005, 'Patterns in Contingencies: the interlocking of formal and informal political institutions in contemporary Argentina', Social Forces, vol. 83, no. 4, pp. 1671-1696.

Peeler, John 1998. Building Democracy in Latin America. Boulder CO, Lynne Rienner.

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