Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 20, 2003 - Political Science - 290 pages
Why did some Latin American labor-based parties adapt successfully to the contemporary challenges of neoliberalism and working class decline while others did not? Drawing on a detailed study of the Argentine Peronism, as well as a broader comparative analysis, this book develops an organizational approach to party change. Levitsky's study breaks new ground in its focus on informal and weakly institutionalized party structures. It argues that loosely structured party organizations, such as those found in many populist labor-based parties, are often better equipped to adapt to rapid environmental change than are more bureaucratic labor-based parties. The argument is illustrated in the case of Peronism, a mass labor-based party with a highly fluid internal structure. The book shows how this weakly routinized structure allowed party reformers to undertake a set of far-reached coalitional and programmatic changes that enabled Peronism to survive, and even thrive, in the neoliberal era.
 

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Contents

LaborBased Party Adaptation in the Neoliberal Era Rethinking the Role of Party Organization
1
Origins and Evolution of a Mass Populist Party
35
An Organized Disorganization The Peronist Party Structure in the 19908
58
Populism in Crisis Environmental Change and Party Failure 19831985
91
From Labor Politics to Machine Politics The Transformation of the Peronist PartyUnion Linkage
107
Menemism and Neoliberalism Programmatic Adaptation in the 19905
144
A View from Below Party Activists and the Transformation of BaseLevel Peronism
186
The Paradox of Menemism Party Adaptation and Regime Stability in the 1990s
217
Crisis Party Adaptation and Democracy Argentina in Comparative Perspective
231
References
251
Index
271
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About the author (2003)

Steven Levitsky is an American political scientist and Professor of Government at Harvard University. His research focuses on Latin America and the developing world. He is the author of Competitive Authoritarianism, (with co-author Lucan A. Way in 2010), and How Democracies Die (with co-author Daniel Ziblatt in 2018). He is co-editor of Argentine Democracy: The Politics of Institutional Weakness (2005). He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.

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