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A Comparative Analysis of Associations of Governors in Argentina and Mexico
Unformatted Document Text:  1 and attempted to increase their presence. Since then, subnational governments have resorted to different strategies to assert their interests at the national level: proposing constitutional amendments through organizations of state governments, recurring to the judiciary to resolve intergovernmental disputes or attempting to gain influence over the national political process by lobbying members of the national congress (Dinan 1997, 130). In federal systems undergoing democratic transition, the central government may attempt to preserve its control over subnational officials, however, taking advantage of economic and political divisions, subnational executives have found mechanisms to represent effectively their group interests. In Russia, for example, governors have created inter-regional associations to increase their control over natural and economic resources (e.g. oil), but also to redefine the federal budgetary and taxation systems so that they are more favorable towards the regions (Tolz y Busygina 1998, 406-407). In Latin America, subnational governments have played varying roles in the design and implementation of federal public policies, especially after democratic transitions. In Argentina and Brazil, governors have tended to be highly influential in national policy- making (Eaton 2004, Samuels and Abrucio 2000), while in Mexico the role of subnational executives has been increasingly prominent, but by comparison still relatively subdued. 1 In this paper, we study one of the strategies that subnational leaders have tended to use to influence federal policies and, in general, to strengthen their bargaining position vis-à-vis the central government: the creation of associations of governors. There are two main reasons for subnational executives to associate: to tend to regional needs and to leverage political representation by negotiating as a group (and thus from a stronger position) with other levels or branches of government. 1 A case in point is that while in Argentina and Brazil, powerful subnational officials were able to compel decentralization from below (Falleti 2005); subnational officials in Mexico enjoyed no such leverage (Cabrero et al. 1998).

Authors: Flamand, Laura. and Juan, Olmeda.
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1
and attempted to increase their presence. Since then, subnational governments have
resorted to different strategies to assert their interests at the national level: proposing
constitutional amendments through organizations of state governments, recurring to the
judiciary to resolve intergovernmental disputes or attempting to gain influence over the
national political process by lobbying members of the national congress (Dinan 1997,
130).
In federal systems undergoing democratic transition, the central government may
attempt to preserve its control over subnational officials, however, taking advantage of
economic and political divisions, subnational executives have found mechanisms to
represent effectively their group interests. In Russia, for example, governors have created
inter-regional associations to increase their control over natural and economic resources
(e.g. oil), but also to redefine the federal budgetary and taxation systems so that they are
more favorable towards the regions (Tolz y Busygina 1998, 406-407).
In Latin America, subnational governments have played varying roles in the design
and implementation of federal public policies, especially after democratic transitions. In
Argentina and Brazil, governors have tended to be highly influential in national policy-
making (Eaton 2004, Samuels and Abrucio 2000), while in Mexico the role of subnational
executives has been increasingly prominent, but by comparison still relatively subdued.
1
In this paper, we study one of the strategies that subnational leaders have tended to
use to influence federal policies and, in general, to strengthen their bargaining position
vis-à-vis the central government: the creation of associations of governors. There are two
main reasons for subnational executives to associate: to tend to regional needs and to
leverage political representation by negotiating as a group (and thus from a stronger
position) with other levels or branches of government.
1
A case in point is that while in Argentina and Brazil, powerful subnational officials were able to compel
decentralization from below (Falleti 2005); subnational officials in Mexico enjoyed no such leverage (Cabrero et al.
1998).


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