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Introduction

Contemporary Argentina is the result of two contradictory processes: the consolidation of the democratic regime and the increase in social inequality. Both phenomena are, in their own way, completely new. Never before had the political system experienced such an enduring period of democratic institutional order, nor had the social structure ever had such a strongly exclusive dynamics. The combination of these two tendencies has produced a complex situation in which the deepening of the social fracture coexists with the delegitimization of the institutions meant to confront it. The contradictions between the institutionalization of the democratic regime and social reality grew constantly until the outbreak of the political, economic and social crisis of 2001, a turning point in the shaping of the political matrix that emerged from the restoration of democracy. The State then lost much of its ability to intervene in social conflicts while political parties fragmented and, simultaneously, their role as representatives of society vanished. The reconstruction of the interventionist ability of the political system started in 2003 with the implementation of highly progressive policies in terms of social inclusion. Despite their flaws and contradictions, the continuity of both an economic policy- oriented to enlarge and improve the labor market-and also of a social development policy that favored the extension of state protection to socially vulnerable groups (the children, the unemployed, the old, etc.) through social inclusion- has succeeded in reverting the tendency provoked by the implementation of harder and harder measures of structural regulation and of State Reformation during the period 1983-2001. The overcoming of the crisis opened new possible horizons: the State recovery, the revival of public affairs, the repositioning of politics, the interaction with new actors and an economic matrix that includes social integration. This New Argentina appears as a paradigmatic example of the main processes affecting the whole Latin American region, i.e., the transition to democracy, the consolidation of a strong presidential system, structural adjustment and the Reformation of the State, the “lost half-decade” and the subsequent socio-economic and state recovery within “a turn to the left”. Besides, the instability of the Argentine political system, the influence of social movements, the survival of Peronism as the main political current and the constant difficulty to generate longterm government policies make Argentina a particular study-case, unique among the other countries of the region. A journey through the social, political and economic transformations of Argentina in the past 30 years will give an insight into the main dynamics of the region as well as an understanding of one of the most interesting cases of construction, crisis and reconstruction of a democratic political community.

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Educational Services  

Through its educational services, the CEPS transmits an integrated viewpoint that joins the perspectives of the best academics in each field...

Educational Services  

Through its educational services, the CEPS transmits an integrated viewpoint that joins the perspectives of the best academics in each field...

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