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

Bailout Risk Grows for Ecuador After Worst Earthquake in Decades

By Nathan Gill April 19, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- Before a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on Saturday, the South American nation’s finances were already in tatters as the government struggled to meet payments to municipal authorities, oil companies and even cancer hospitals. Cut off from global bond markets, President Rafael Correa must now find enough money to rehouse thousands.
As volunteers continue to rescue victims from the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, doubts are growing about the country’s ability to pay for the reconstruction. The nation is already in its worst recession since the financial system collapsed in the late 1990s, and international reserves are at their lowest levels in almost seven years.
Click hereto read the full story on Bloomberg News.

Ecuador Quake Death Toll Rises as World Leaders Offer Support

By Benjamin Bain and Nathan Gill April 16, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- World leaders from the Vatican to Washington offered support to Ecuador as casualties mounted following one of the strongest earthquakes to strike the South American country in decades.
By Sunday evening, the number of dead had climbed to at least 246, from 77 earlier in the day. At least 2,527 were injured, the government said. President Rafael Correa flew to the epicenter in hard-hit Manabi province after cutting short a trip to Rome, for a conference at the Vatican, in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
Click here to read the full story on Bloomberg News.

77-Year-Old Wall Street Favorite to Face Fujimori in Peru Runoff

By Nathan Gill and John Quigley April 12, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- The victory by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former finance minister, for second place in Sunday’s Peruvian president elections sets up a showdown between two business-friendly candidates, part of a regional backlash against left-wing politicians.
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old Oxford-trained political economist who’s spent more than 50 years championing debt control and free trade, won 21 percent of vote with 96 percent of the ballots counted, according to the electoral office. He will face Keiko Fujimori, who won 39.8 percent, in a second-round vote on June 5.
Click here to read the full story on Bloomberg News.