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Dealing with Poverty: Change and Continuity in Argentine Social Policies
Unformatted Document Text:  by operating in the secondary distribution of income, that is, mechanisms of distribution that do not derive directly from the production process (Danani: 2004). This would allow distinguishing social policies from economic or labor policies that directly regulate the incomes of capital and labor. But this criterion is still too large as it includes, according to Castel (1997), interventions in the center of the social system (i.e. systems of social provision and regulation of salary relations) as well as interventions in the margins (i.e. interventions on the population excluded from the previous relations and on the relations that this exclusion produces). According to Andrenacchi et.al. (2004), the latter interventions are, by definition, assistentialist. Moreover, within the type of “social state” that has existed in Argentina, where the system of social provision was associated with the salary condition –and not with citizenship- there has always been a split between social policies in the center and in the margins 28 . In this context, the neoliberal regime of targeted social policies has been characterized by the institutionalization of charity as a synonym of social policy, either by state or by civil society organizations. Therefore, for our purposes here, the question that arises from the institutional discourse of the MDS is whether policies oriented to improve conditions of life in the margins of society can reverse, so to speak, the “marginal status” of the population and relations to which these policies are addressed to. I have left for the end the characterization of the third plan implemented by the MDS, “Shoulders to the Wheel” (MO), in the area of social economy and local development, precisely because this plan seems to be an affirmative response to this problem. We shall see in the next sections what kind of perspectives are informing this plan, and what kind of limitations it faces. II. New perspectives within the state: the socio-economic turn on social policies on the margins 1. Social economy and local development: Power to the Social Imagination? 28 On the historical connection, in Argentina, between a representation of poverty as an exceptional, temporal and residual data and the myth of the “rich country” and the “extended salary society” see Armony and Kessler (2004).

Authors: Perelmiter, Luisina.
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by operating in the secondary distribution of income, that is, mechanisms of distribution that
do not derive directly from the production process (Danani: 2004). This would allow
distinguishing social policies from economic or labor policies that directly regulate the
incomes of capital and labor. But this criterion is still too large as it includes, according to
Castel (1997), interventions in the center of the social system (i.e. systems of social provision
and regulation of salary relations) as well as interventions in the margins (i.e. interventions on
the population excluded from the previous relations and on the relations that this exclusion
produces). According to Andrenacchi et.al. (2004), the latter interventions are, by definition,
assistentialist. Moreover, within the type of “social state” that has existed in Argentina, where
the system of social provision was associated with the salary condition –and not with
citizenship- there has always been a split between social policies in the center and in the
margins
. In this context, the neoliberal regime of targeted social policies has been
characterized by the institutionalization of charity as a synonym of social policy, either by state
or by civil society organizations.
Therefore, for our purposes here, the question that arises from the institutional discourse of the
MDS is whether policies oriented to improve conditions of life in the margins of society can
reverse, so to speak, the “marginal status” of the population and relations to which these
policies are addressed to. I have left for the end the characterization of the third plan
implemented by the MDS, “Shoulders to the Wheel” (MO), in the area of social economy and
local development, precisely because this plan seems to be an affirmative response to this
problem. We shall see in the next sections what kind of perspectives are informing this plan,
and what kind of limitations it faces.
II. New perspectives within the state: the socio-economic turn on social policies on the
margins
1. Social economy and local development: Power to the Social Imagination?
28
On the historical connection, in Argentina, between a representation of poverty as an exceptional, temporal and
residual data and the myth of the “rich country” and the “extended salary society” see Armony and Kessler
(2004).


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