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Strong Presidents, Powerful Provinces: The Case of Argentina

Benton, A. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-2685-4114 (2003). Strong Presidents, Powerful Provinces: The Case of Argentina. Politica y Gobierno, X(1), pp. 103-137.


Recent research highlights two competing trends in studies of Argentina politics. One emphasizes the strength of federal institutions; the other the powerful position of presidents in the system. Often depicted as opposing, this paper shows how the presence ofpowerful presidents complements that of strong provincial leaders. It is argued that,thanks to the federalized electoral system, politicians aspiring to national office mustensure the support of provincial political leaders. As long as national leaders have beenable to confer benefits on provincial politicians, provincial leaders have supported themat the polls. Historical analysis of national policy-making during state-led economic developmentshows that presidents used their privileged political positions to channel a varietyof benefits to provincial governments, leading to the development of provincial economiesand stable electoral support in national elections. Analysis of recent economic adjustment,though underscoring the powerful position of presidents and provincial leaders, alsoshows how the inability to provide customary benefits hurts national politicians at the polls.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: presidential power; federalism; local governments; elections; party system; economic policy
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

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