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Student Research Projects

Argentina, Structural Adjustment and Democratization

Student Stefanie Nijssen
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Laura Landolt
Department Political Science
Course POLS 499: Senior Seminar

Abstract

Argentina, somewhat of an outlier in the wave of democracy that hit the Latin Americas, fluctuated between democracy and authoritarianism in part due to the implementation of radical new economic policies. In the set of policy assumptions known as the ‘Washington Consensus’, Western states and related donor institutions link economic liberalization to democratization. However, structural adjustment policy in Argentina may have increased poverty even as it decreased political participation. This very different relationship between political representation and distribution of wealth is itself contradictory to the modernist language of liberal democracy, in which everyone has equal rights and an equal voice.

 

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