Skip to main content

Argentina's Foreign Policy: Actors and Institutions

Who are the relevant actors in the creation of national foreign policy and what structures do they operate within?

The executive branch controls foreign policy in Argentina. It is composed of six secretaries, 10 ministers, a ministerial chief, and one military liaison; all appointed by the President.[1] While citizens have the right to propose legislation through their provincial representatives, the legislature does not have the right to decide issues related to foreign policy or international treaties. The president has the power to name and remove ministers, ambassadors and consular officers, sign international treaties, and regulate foreign trade through commercial agreements. The president is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces but must consult with the Senate and military high command before deploying military forces.

The current President of Argentina is Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (b.1953), the wife of former president Néstor Kirchner. She is a lawyer and longtime member of the Peronist (PJ) party, before becoming President she was a national senator between 1995 and 1997. Fernández was then elected to the national Chamber of Deputies between 1997 and 2001 and in 2001 was reelected to the national senate where she served until her appointment as president for the period 2007 – 2011.

The foreign policy decision making process involves a complex mixture of internal and external variables. Given the 2001 economic collapse that bankrupt the country, forced over 58 percent of the population into poverty, and led to the overthrow of successive interim presidents, Argentinean politicians are very sensitive to public opinion.[2] This historical context is relevant to the decision making process because it places an unusually high value on public opinion in the arena of foreign policy.

Public opinion is generated through a number of social organizations, provincial governors, government officials, and the media all play an important role in shaping the discourse and conditions that affect general opinion. Labor syndicates like the Confederación General de Trabajo (CGT) and the Movimiento de Trabajadores Argentinos (MTA) play an important role in grass roots mobilizations. Another important factor in the creation of public opinion is the piqueteros. The piqueteros are community groups that take part in social protests, usually in the form of road blocks, to demand better social conditions from the government.[3] The key difference between the syndicates and the piqueteros is that the piqueteros are usually groups or communities of unemployed persons who are more prone to use violence as a means of social protest.[4] However, it is not uncommon for the groups to mix or even take part in the same protests.

By Nathan Gill - Southern Affairs
www.southernaffairs.org

Painting by Shee, "Le passage et le passion"

Related Articles
Argentina's Foreign Policy: Traditions
Argentina's Foreign Policy: 2008


[1] Argentina Foreign Ministry Website. [2] World Bank. Argentina – Crisis and Poverty 2003: A Poverty Assessment. vol. 1: Main Report, no. 26127-AR. 24 July 2003: 3. 4 Nov. 2006. [3] Clarín. Piqueteros: La Cara Oculta del fenómeno. 2002 Accessed 26 Oct. 2006. [4] Clarín. Piqueteros: La Cara Oculta del fenómeno. 2002 Accessed 26 Oct. 2006.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

"Open" and "Closed" Regionalism Theories

(Apr. 3, 2008) The terms "Open" and "closed" regionalism refer to the degree in which regional blocks allow nonmember nations to access their markets. In this sense, an "open region" is one with few, if any, external trade restrictions while a "closed region" can be defined as one whose external trade policies seek to restrict commerce with nations outside the region.Closed regionalism as practiced in Latin America grew out of the policy suggestions made by UN ECLAC/CEPAL school of dependency theory in the early 1960s. As discussed earlier, proponents of this policy argued that states should form regional alliances with a series of trade barriers against foreign products to foment regional industrialization and assure captive local markets for these manufactured goods. The failure of this system of integration to meet Latin America's economic goals became apparent during the 1980s and was further highlighted by the strong economic performanc…

Greetings From Gringolandia

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 28 — April 3, 2016
Susan Lamy and her husband, Jean Pierre, owned a successful interior design business in Westport, Conn., but they still worried about how they would make ends meet in retirement. “Just paying for the basic necessities was killing us, and we could see that there was no way that we would ever be able to stop working,” says Lamy. 
The search for an affordable retirement spot led the couple to Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site in Ecuador’s southern Andes. They settled there in 2013 and now live in a spacious apartment with a terrace overlooking the Yanuncay River. Lamy says she and her husband enjoy a high standard of living in Cuenca for around $2,500 a month, paid for by their Social Security checks: “This seemed to be the best possibility for having a really terrific life on a fixed income.” 
The combination of a subtropical climate, well-preserved colonial architecture, and low cost of living has made Cuenca a magnet for North Ameri…