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Dealing with Poverty: Change and Continuity in Argentine Social Policies
Unformatted Document Text:  development policies requires a change in the relation between state and popular sectors, in which the latter understand themselves as active participants, not just recipients of the social policy. The figure of association between state and social actors, instead of the more classical figure of intervention of state reformers from above, is what is at stake. But this association cannot be built from one day to another. “There is a collective imaginary, and especially when it comes from the MDS, that this is a subsidy, one more of many, and so they see it as an opportunity to obtain resources…from different points of view, the municipalities have also this imaginary towards the central state, in some cases we could reverse this situation because we gave them responses, because it is not easy, it is not ‘we give you the tools, and you become an entrepreneur’. On the other hand, because of errors or demands that surpass our abilities, a strong discredit towards the state is created, that it is slow and that the projects are never to be approved, so you have to enter in a dialogue” (State official, MO, MDS) This demand for a de-re-construction of the image of state in the culture of both vulnerable social groups and state actors, something that could only be developed in the long-term and that could not be changed from above, assuming that in a “from above” scenario this intention is clearly shared, though nor is this necessarily the case, as we have seen 48 . Conclusion The crisis of 2001-2002 in Argentina situated the social question at the core of the political problem of a society that has been dealing with its own fragmentation over the course of the past 30 years. In this context, as in most of Latin-American countries, strategies for rebuild political legitimacy have constituted a systematic opposition to the discourse and policies of the immediate neoliberal past. In this paper, I have examined how this process appears in the social areas of the state and their policies by showing and qualifying the shifts towards a new conception of policy, oriented to more complex socio-economic goals, grounded on the strengthening of the subsystem of social economy and on strategies of local development. transformation of the labor-based Peronist party into a clientelistic machine was possible in the context of the use of state resources and assistencialism. What both authors show, for what interests here, is that the relations between state and vulnerable social groups during last decades was not only oriented by material needs, but also by the production of political and institutional ties. Therefore, socio-economic recovery would not be enough to dismantling this relation. 48 On the lack of the “shared culture” needed to really effect a socio-economic turn in social policies see Hintze, 2007: p.125-7.

Authors: Perelmiter, Luisina.
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development policies requires a change in the relation between state and popular sectors, in
which the latter understand themselves as active participants, not just recipients of the social
policy. The figure of association between state and social actors, instead of the more classical
figure of intervention of state reformers from above, is what is at stake. But this association
cannot be built from one day to another.
“There is a collective imaginary, and especially when it comes from the MDS, that this is a subsidy, one
more of many, and so they see it as an opportunity to obtain resources…from different points of view,
the municipalities have also this imaginary towards the central state, in some cases we could reverse this
situation because we gave them responses, because it is not easy, it is not ‘we give you the tools, and you
become an entrepreneur’. On the other hand, because of errors or demands that surpass our abilities, a
strong discredit towards the state is created, that it is slow and that the projects are never to be approved,
so you have to enter in a dialogue” (State official, MO, MDS)
This demand for a de-re-construction of the image of state in the culture of both vulnerable
social groups and state actors, something that could only be developed in the long-term and
that could not be changed from above, assuming that in a “from above” scenario this intention
is clearly shared, though nor is this necessarily the case, as we have seen
Conclusion
The crisis of 2001-2002 in Argentina situated the social question at the core of the political
problem of a society that has been dealing with its own fragmentation over the course of the
past 30 years. In this context, as in most of Latin-American countries, strategies for rebuild
political legitimacy have constituted a systematic opposition to the discourse and policies of
the immediate neoliberal past. In this paper, I have examined how this process appears in the
social areas of the state and their policies by showing and qualifying the shifts towards a new
conception of policy, oriented to more complex socio-economic goals, grounded on the
strengthening of the subsystem of social economy and on strategies of local development.
transformation of the labor-based Peronist party into a clientelistic machine was possible in the context of the use
of state resources and assistencialism. What both authors show, for what interests here, is that the relations
between state and vulnerable social groups during last decades was not only oriented by material needs, but also
by the production of political and institutional ties. Therefore, socio-economic recovery would not be enough to
dismantling this relation.
48
On the lack of the “shared culture” needed to really effect a socio-economic turn in social policies see Hintze,
2007: p.125-7.


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