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A Comparative Analysis of Associations of Governors in Argentina and Mexico
Unformatted Document Text:  24 First, both in Argentina and Mexico, governors from the party in opposition to that of the president were to a large extent the most active in promoting the creation of these associations. This pattern seems to indicate that opposition governors are in much greater need of strategies to communicate and bargain with the federal government than the president’s co-partisans. In the case of the Conago, governors in the opposition were the ones who had a more active role in its meetings and in leading its standing committees. In the case of Argentina, we must emphasize that governors who joined the Front headed small and less autonomous provinces in financial terms. The creation of the Federal Front allowed this group of subnational leaders (who were in disadvantage vis-à- vis opposition governors from big provinces) to gain visibility and to generate an alternative channel of negotiation with the federal government. A second point is that each association achieved a different degree of institutionalization. In the paper, we have shown that these divergent trajectories explain differences regarding the partisan composition of the associations as well as policy outcomes, here we suggest that these different paths might be understood as a consequence of the different political capacities of governors in each country. While Argentine governors are able to exercise control over the action of the provincial delegation to the National Congress, no similar situation is observed in Mexico, where deputies and senators are still principally responsive to the party leaders in the Chambers. The fact that Mexican governors have been less able to use the federal congress as a forum to voice their claims and to have their interests considered might explain why they have tended to concentrate their efforts in consolidating the Conago, while Argentine governors have only given primacy to their association when facing particular conditions. Finally, the extent to which the Conago and the Front have played a defining role for specific federal policies is still an open question (even for the most important issue of the allocation of federal grants to the states, see Díaz-Cayeros 2005). In their short history, nevertheless, both the Front and the Conago have achieved greater access to decision

Authors: Flamand, Laura. and Juan, Olmeda.
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24
First, both in Argentina and Mexico, governors from the party in opposition to that of
the president were to a large extent the most active in promoting the creation of these
associations. This pattern seems to indicate that opposition governors are in much
greater need of strategies to communicate and bargain with the federal government than
the president’s co-partisans. In the case of the Conago, governors in the opposition were
the ones who had a more active role in its meetings and in leading its standing
committees. In the case of Argentina, we must emphasize that governors who joined the
Front headed small and less autonomous provinces in financial terms. The creation of the
Federal Front allowed this group of subnational leaders (who were in disadvantage vis-à-
vis opposition governors from big provinces) to gain visibility and to generate an
alternative channel of negotiation with the federal government.
A second point is that each association achieved a different degree of
institutionalization. In the paper, we have shown that these divergent trajectories explain
differences regarding the partisan composition of the associations as well as policy
outcomes, here we suggest that these different paths might be understood as a
consequence of the different political capacities of governors in each country. While
Argentine governors are able to exercise control over the action of the provincial
delegation to the National Congress, no similar situation is observed in Mexico, where
deputies and senators are still principally responsive to the party leaders in the
Chambers. The fact that Mexican governors have been less able to use the federal
congress as a forum to voice their claims and to have their interests considered might
explain why they have tended to concentrate their efforts in consolidating the Conago,
while Argentine governors have only given primacy to their association when facing
particular conditions.
Finally, the extent to which the Conago and the Front have played a defining role for
specific federal policies is still an open question (even for the most important issue of the
allocation of federal grants to the states, see Díaz-Cayeros 2005). In their short history,
nevertheless, both the Front and the Conago have achieved greater access to decision


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