Accepted Paper:

Machiavellian liaisons: when equality meets caudillismo, and direct democracy meets the clientelist state…  
Heike Schaumberg (University of Buenos Aires)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the contradictions, limitations and penetrability of domination arising at the juncture of daily-lived experiences in subaltern movements in two distinct Argentine localities to understand how alternative ideologies and practices mature in Argentina today.

Paper long abstract:

Neoliberal adjustment in South America has not only brought into life highly adaptive forms of domination, but also sturdy, even if contradictory, expressions of militancy and defiance. Subaltern collective rejections of 'leaders', 'politics' and 'individualism' have been important identity markers of the Argentine uprising under and against neoliberalism, favouring and elaborating notions and practices of equality, direct democracy, and self-governance. The collective appropriation of the means of production, public and private spaces and buildings accompanied by such popular reconceptualisations of politics defied hegemonic strategies of domination, shaking and re-configuring the political foundations of clientelism and caudillismo. Yet, militancy, this paper cautions, is easily mistaken for revolutionary consciousness. The apparent temporary stalemate in the balance of forces in the aftermath of the 2001 popular uprising was veiling processes of both intensified class struggle and state restructurings, which dynamically transformed the conditions and dispositions of collective struggles and defiance. These intense and often contradictory political processes are contextualised through the country's worst economic crisis and growing popular insurgencies in the region. This paper critically examines the ways in which hegemonic practices and conceptualisations of 'leadership' and practices of domination are simultaneously reproduced and antagonised within subaltern movements since 2001 in two distinct localities in Argentina, Buenos Aires and the northern province of Salta, through dynamic interactions with the state, society, the past, and the family. Local hegemonic and counter-ideologies interweave at times coercively with Northern dominant and revolutionary ideologies into a complex design of local and regional historical trajectories and identities. Exploring the contradictions arising at the juncture of daily lived experiences in subaltern antagonist movements of both the limitations and penetrability of domination, allows us to understand the ways in which alternative ideologies and practices are sustained and mature in Argentina today.

Panel W070
Transitions: movements in space and time