Juan Domingo Peron

Paper Rating: Word Count: 2013 Approx Pages: 8

What explains Argentina's recurrent failure to consolidate a democratic political system? This political puzzle has engaged scholars for decades, producing a number of explanations. James W. McGuire suggests that Peronism's self-definition as a movement rather than a party has been a key source of Argentina's instability. He sets out to show that Juan Peron's legacy of "movementism" and indifference to party building led to weak institutionalization of the Peronist party, with negative implications for consolidation of Argentine democracy. McGuire presents a detailed analysis of the intricacies of politics in the Peronist trade unions and in several incarnations of the Peronist party within the broader tapestry of Argentine twentieth-century history. Peron and today Carlos Menem, McGuire asserts, have preferred to use personalistic control, "balancing" strategies, and the resources of loyal unions and the state rather than party structures to carry out political projects and dispense patronage, in order to solidify their own political dominance and prevent opportunities for rivals to gain independent power. Only when Peron was abroad, between the mid-1950s and early 1970s, did party-building projects by powerful new

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