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Reversal of Development in Argentina

Reversal of Development in Argentina: Postwar Counterrevolutionary Policies and Their Structural Consequences

Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Reversal of Development in Argentina
    Book Description:

    Carlos Waisman has pinpointed the specific beliefs that led the Peronists unwittingly to transform their country from a relatively prosperous land of recent settlement,Ã" like Australia and Canada, to an impoverished and underdeveloped society resembling the rest of Latin America.

    Originally published in 1987.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5885-9
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 The Argentine Riddle and Sociology of Development
    (pp. 3-23)

    The economic and political development of Argentina for the past one hundred years raises what in nineteenth-century language would have been called “a question” the failure of the country to become an industrial democracy As with the other “questions”—peasant, national, etc —the issue here is an apparent anomaly, an encounter with stubborn facts that challenge preexisting generalizations And this anomaly is significant enough to become a problem for theory in this instance, an opportunity to extend the theory of development in order to encompass what appears as a deviant case

    Argentine reality in the past decades—stagnation and hyperinflation...

  6. 2 Is Argentina a Deviant Case? Resource Endowments, Development, and Democracy in Sociological Theory
    (pp. 24-35)

    The “Argentine question,” the fact that a peripheral country such as Argentina has been underdeveloped since the war, is not surprising from the standpoint of the currently popular dependency and world-system approaches, but it is paradoxical in relation to a long-standing proposition in social theory. This proposition, a rare instance of theoretical convergence among theorists of different persuasions spanning two centuries, is that a society having a high land-labor ratio and a population shortage will develop an efficient capitalist economy and a democratic polity. Since the land and labor endowments of Argentina appear to fit these specifications, it is in...

  7. 3 Images and Facts: Argentina Against the New Country and Latin American Mirrors
    (pp. 36-93)

    The two models of peripheral society I discussed in Chapter 2 have been used for the characterization of Argentina. Three images have been influential at different points in time: they portray Argentina as a new country, as an underdeveloped, dependent society, and as a dualistic, structurally heterogeneous nation. The first of these images is based on the new country model, and the two others emphasize the external and the internal aspects of the underdevelopment type.

    The representation of Argentina as a new country arose and became established in the period of ascent, particularly around the Centennial (1910), when politicians and...

  8. 4 In Search of Argentina: The Adequacy of Various Factors for the Explanation of the Reversal
    (pp. 94-127)

    This chapter reviews different hypotheses in order to assess their applicability to the Argentine case. I examine the possible role of cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors as determinants of the reversal of development in the country. I consider the validity of bivariate relationships for the elucidation of a process that calls for a multivariate explanation, but this is the most systematic procedure that can be followed. Only by isolating each factor is it possible to assess its plausibility as a determinant and to hypothesize about its interrelationship with other factors.

    This review substantiates the statement I made in Chapter 1;...

  9. 5 Why the State Became Autonomous in the Forties
    (pp. 128-163)

    Even though they illuminate different aspects of the process, standard explanations of the institutionalization of the new industrial and labor policies in the postwar period are not satisfactory to the sociologist.

    As a first approximation, it makes sense to impute these policies to ideological and psychological factors. Thus, radical protectionism and state corporatism are obviously linked to nationalist and fascist ideologies. They are also consistent with traditional Catholic doctrines, whose relationship is manifest with corporatism and indirect with autarkic industrialization (there are two links: the affinity between an organicist conception of society and the idea of economic self-sufficiency, and the...

  10. 6 The Primacy of Politics: The Question of Revolution in the Forties
    (pp. 164-206)

    This chapter focuses on the election of 1946, which marked the formal end to the military regime established in 1943 and the beginning of the Peronist period, or, in other words, the crucial point in the institutionalization of the new industrial and labor policies. The chapter examines three issues: Perón’s arguments in defense of radical import substitution and corporatism, the response among economic and political elites, and the realism of the danger of revolution, whose existence was asserted by Perón and apparently believed by his elite supports (the military, the church hierarchy, and some Conservatives).

    I will show that Perón...

  11. 7 Social Integration and the Inordinate Fear of Communism
    (pp. 207-252)

    Thus, Perón’s discourse to the elites focused on the danger of revolution and on a set of proposed courses of action to face this danger, which was, essentially, the package of new industrial and labor policies. As we have seen, his interpretation of Argentine reality in the forties was based on the acceptance of “Marxism in reverse.” The fact that he, a smart political entrepreneur, chose to focus on this theme, indicates that he knew that the inordinate fear of communism was, in a manifest or a latent form, a central component of the political culture of at least some...

  12. 8 The Disadvantages of Modernity
    (pp. 253-286)

    This book examined what can be called the Argentine question. It tried to understand why Argentina failed to become an industrial democracy.

    My central theme was that Argentina was not an underdeveloped country prior to the Depression, but that it was converted into one as a consequence of social and political processes in the postwar years. As I put it, the country switched developmental tracks: from being a “new country” type of peripheral society, it turned into an “underdeveloped” one. I argued that this reversal was the unintended consequence of industrial and labor policies institutionalized in the forties. A central...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 287-318)
  14. Index
    (pp. 319-329)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 330-330)