Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Research Student: Dr Chris Wylde

Argentina and the Argentinazo: State and International elite responses to the Tango Crisis of 2001

Photo of Dr Chris Wylde

In December 2001, Argentina's system of pegging its currency 1:1 with the US Dollar (a system known as Convertibilidad) collapsed in spectacular fashion. A country once as rich as France, once the fifth largest economy in the world, a country whose capital was known as the 'Paris of Latin America', a country that was the shining example of market led reform and lauded by the IMF, essentially imploded. Widespread poverty ensued, unemployment rose sharply, output collapsed, riots and looting in the capital was widespread, and was subsequently violently suppressed, resulting in deaths amongst the demonstrators. Argentina therefore experienced a multiple crisis: economic, financial, political, and social.

In May 2003, Dr Nestor Kirchner was elected as President of Argentina (after more than 5 presidents between December 2001 and May 2003). Whilst the situation was on the road to recovery when he took office, he has presided over 3 years of unprecedented economic growth (rates of between 7-9%), with subsequent reductions in poverty and unemployment. This thesis is concerned with the administration of Kirchner, in the context of the Argentine crisis of 2001/02 and Argentine development; examining the policies and decision making processes of Kirchner’s administration and attempting to identify possible changes in Argentine political economy, i.e. any changes in the ensemble of policies/structures/institutions, as well as how they are regulated.

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