Gervasoni, Carlos "Democracia, Autortitarismo, e Hibridez en las provincias argentinas: la medicion y causas de los regímenes subnacionales", Journal of Democracy en Español, Volumen 3, Julio de 2011: 75 - 93.
Bonvecchi Alejandro, “Políticas Sociales Subnacionales en Países Federales: Argentina en Perspectiva Comparada”, Desarrollo Económico N° 190-191, 2008: 307-339.
Este trabajo investiga las condiciones para el desarrollo de políticas sociales subnacionales autónomas de las políticas nacionales en países federales. Propone un esquema analítico según el cual el desarrollo de políticas públicas subnacionales autónomas en una federación es más probable cuanto más descentralizada sea la organización de esa federación en términos institucionales, fiscales y políticos, y el potencial para el desarrollo de políticas sociales subnacionales autónomas es mayor cuanto mayores son la disponibilidad de recursos fiscales de los gobiernos subnacionales y el nivel de competencia política que esos gobiernos enfrentan. Testea ese esquema analítico comparando las políticas sociales de los distritos subnacionales de Argentina, Brasil, México y Chile con las políticas sociales de los respectivos estados nacionales. El esquema prevé con éxito el grado diferencial de desarrollo de políticas sociales subnacionales en los países investigados y la proporción de los distintos tipos de política subnacional desarrollados en cada país, pero resulta menos exitoso en predecir el tipo de política social subnacional existente en cada unidad subnacional de cada uno de los países bajo estudio. Ello sugiere la necesidad de reformular el esquema analítico jerarquizando de otro modo las condiciones postuladas e incorporando la variable capacidad estatal.
Bonvecchi Alejandro, “Les aspects politiques du fédéralisme budgétaire argentin a l’aune des négociations fiscales fédérales”, Problèmes d’Amérique Latine, 56, Printemps 2005: 129-152.
Bonvecchi Alejandro, “The Political Economy of Fiscal Reform in Latin America : The Case of Argentina”, InterAmerican Development Bank 2010, IBD Working Papers Series No. IBD-WPS-175.
This paper investigates the political economy of fiscal reform activism in Argentina since the late 1980s. Between 1988 and 2008, tax legislation was changed 83 times, fiscal federal rules 14 times, and budgetary institutions sixteen times. Tax and budgetary reforms moved from centralizing revenue sources and spending authority in the federal government to mild decentralization lately. Fiscal federal rules combined centralization of revenues and management in the federal government with short-term compensations for the provinces. This paper contends that reform activism can be explained by the recurrence of economic and policy shocks while reform patterns may be accounted for as consequences of the decreasing political integration of national parties in a polity whose decisionmaking rules encourage the formation of oversized coalitions. The decrease in political integration weakened the national party leaderships’ ability to coordinate intergovernmental bargaining, and strengthened the local bosses and factions needed to form oversized coalitions.
Gervasoni Carlos, "Measuring Variance in Subnational Regimes: Results from an Expert-Based Operationalization of Democracy in the Argentine Provinces" Journal of Politics in Latin America, 2, 2, 13-52, 2010
This paper presents an expert-based operationalization strategy to measure the degree of democracy in the Argentine provinces. Starting with a mainstream and “thick” definition of regime type, I assess each of its aspects using a subjective or perception-based approach that taps the knowledge of experts on the politics of each province. I present and justify the methodological design of the resulting Survey of Experts on Provincial Politics (SEPP) and conduct a preliminary analysis of its results. Some aspects of the provincial regimes appear to be clearly democratic, while others are mixed or even leaning towards authoritarianism. Moreover, some show little interprovincial variance, while others vary considerably from province to province. An analysis of the central tendency and dispersion of the survey items allows for a general description of the Argentine provincial regimes. Inclusion is the most democratic dimension, while the effectiveness of institutional constraints on the power of the Executive is the most deficient. Electoral contestation is generally free of traditional forms of fraud, but incumbents often command far more campaign resources and media attention than do their challengers. Physical repression is rare, but opponents in some provinces face subtler forms of punishment. While the survey does not uncover any clear cases of subnational authoritarianism, stricto sensu, provincial regimes do vary significantly from basically democratic to clearly hybrid.
Gervasoni Carlos, “A Rentier Theory of Subnational Regimes: Fiscal Federalism, Democracy, and Authoritarianism in the Argentine Provinces”, World Politics, Vol 62, No. 2. April 2010.
Levels of subnational democracy vary significantly within countries around the world. Drawing on fiscal theories of the state, the author argues that this variance is often explained by a type of rentierism that is not geographically determined by natural resources but politically created by certain fiscal federalism arrangements. He posits that less democratic regimes are more likely in rentier provinces—those that receive disproportionately large central government transfers and practically forgo local taxation. Intergovernmental revenue-sharing rules that produce large vertical fiscal imbalances and favor the economically smaller districts provide their incumbents with generous “fiscal federalism rents” that allow them to restrict democratic contestation and weaken checks and balances. Statistical evidence from a panel data set of the Argentine provinces strongly confirms this expectation, even after controlling for standard alternative explanations such as level of development. Sensitivity analysis shows that this finding is extremely robust to alternative panel estimators. Qualitative and quantitative evidence suggests that the effect of heavy public spending on the economic autonomy of political actors is the main causal mechanism at work.
Gervasoni Carlos, “Democracia y Autoritarismo en las Provincias Argentinas”. Revista Aportes (para el Estado y la Administración Gubernamental) Año 15 - Nº 27. August 2009.
Gervasoni Carlos, “¿Cuán Democráticas son las Provincias Argentinas? Estrategias Objetivas y Subjetivas de Inferencia Causal”. En Boletín de Política Comparada Vol. 2(1), Enero/Abril 2009.
En este artículo pretendo ilustrar el proceso de inferencia descriptiva para el caso de una variable politológica de gran importancia teórica y normativa: el nivel de democracia subnacional. Como tantos otros conceptos importantes de la disciplina, no ha sido hasta el momento medido en forma válida y confiable en nuestro país.
Gervasoni Carlos, “Poliarquía a Nivel Subnacional. Aspectos Conceptuales y Normativos en el Contexto de las Democracias Federales”. En Colección 16: 83-122.
Este artículo plantea en términos teóricos la posible co-existencia de un gobierno democrático en la esfera nacional y diferentes formas de autoritarismo local en el nivel sub-nacional a partir del caso argentino. Primero, a partir de las definiciones dahlianas de la democracia, plantea qué elementos deberían formar parte de una definición sub-nacional de la democracia. Segundo, justifica una definición acotada a lo político a partir de la escasa correlación entre competencia política y desarrollo socio-económico. Tercero, analiza las implicancias del autoritarismo local sobre sistemas federales donde los pactos fundacionales han introducido una representación desproporcionada de las provincias pequeñas en los órganos nacionales. Este artículo concluye con una hipótesis: la explicación del autoritarismo local no está en el sub-desarrollo, sino en la distribución de los recursos fiscales.
Lodola Germán, “La estructura subnacional de las carreras políticas en Argentina y Brasil”, Desarrollo Económico Nº 194, Vol 49, 2009: 247-286.
Lodola Germán, “Protesta popular y redes clientelares en Argentina: el reparto federal del Plan Trabajar”, Desarrollo Económico Nº 176, Vol 44, 2005: 515-536.
Bonvecchi Alejandro, “Fiscal Federal Politics in Authoritarian Regimes: Theory and Evidence from Argentina, 1976-1983”, presentado en el seminario del Political Economy Group, American University of Paris, 1 de febrero de 2006.
The idea of an authoritarian federation appears as an anomaly for both the theory of federalism and the theory of authoritarian institutions. Yet there are and have been numerous cases of authoritarian regimes with federal institutions. This paper proposes a theoretical framework to account for authoritarian federations and their fiscal federal politics and illustrates it with evidence from Argentina’s last military dictatorship. The theory argues that a) authoritarian regimes introduce or retain federal institutions to increase the stability of ruling coalitions when political and/or economic power is dispersed throughout the territory, b) federal institutions require a high integration of political forces to prevent disruptive intergovernmental bargaining from endangering the stability of the ruling coalition, and c) national governments must distribute fiscal resources among subnational power-holders according to the universalistic logic of pork-barrel or rent-seeking fiscal politics in order to secure the integration of the governing political forces. The evidence from Argentina’s last military dictatorship appears to be consistent with the theory. The Argentine military developed a set of institutions that divided power both horizontally and vertically by distributing all institutional positions equally among the Armed Forces, so as to secure their political integration in government. This generated a fiscal federal politics in which the central government engaged in political-business cycles and compensated subnational power-holders for their cooperation in the implementation of policies conflictive with provincial interests.
Gervasoni Carlos, “Conceptualizing and Measuring Subnational Democracy. An Expert Survey Approach”. Working Paper # 23. The Committee on Concepts and Methods. IPSA-CIDE.
This paper presents a conceptualization and operationalization of the degree of democracy (as opposed to the quality of democracy) in the Argentine provinces. I use a mainstream and “thick” definition of regime type, and posit that the least democratic subnational units in Argentina and other third-wave federations are better understood as hybrid regimes rather than “subnational authoritarianisms.” I discuss the implications of this conceptualization for measurement, develop a full operationalization of the concept, and present the methodological design of a survey of experts that serves as the measurement instrument. Preliminary results are presented as an illustration of the type of information that will be available once the survey is complete. Some dimensions of democracy –such as inclusion and fair counting of the votes– show little inter-provincial variance, while others –such as freedom of expression and institutional constraints on the executive– vary considerably from province to province.
Gervasoni Carlos, “The Many Dimensions of Democratic and Hybrid Subnational Regimes: Evidence from an Expert Survey in Argentina”. Conferencia Sub-national Democratization: Latin America, the United States, Russia and India in Comparative Perspective. Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. Buenos Aires, 15-16 de abril de 2010.
This paper presents an operationalization of the degree of democracy in the argentine provinces. Starting with a mainstream and “thick” definition of regime type, I measure each of its aspects using a subjective or perception-based strategy that taps the knowledge of experts. I briefly introduce the resulting Survey of Experts on Provincial Politics (SEPP) and present its main results. Some aspects of the provincial regimes appear to be clearly democratic, while others are mixed or even leaning towards authoritarianism. Moreover, some show little inter-provincial variance, while others vary considerably from province to province. Inclusion is the most democratic dimension, while institutional constraints is the most deficient. Overall, the state of democracy in the provinces appears to be mixed (i.e., average levels are neither too high nor too low) and generally heterogeneous (i.e., there are significant inter-provincial differences). Individual provincial regimes range from democratic to hybrid: although some authoritarian practices exist, no province fits the classical definition of authoritarianism. A key finding is that the different aspects of democracy measured by the survey are not always correlated, and therefore cannot be easily reduced (via factor analysis) to one or two dimensions. Provincial regimes seem to be complex and multidimensional, likely more so than national regimes.
Gervasoni Carlos, “Fiscal Federalism as a Source of Rents: Subnational Rentier States and Democracy in Argentina”. Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto, September 3-6, 2009.
The literature on the rentier state has been understandably dominated by natural resource rents. The latter concept, however, is unnecessarily low in the ladder of abstraction. I undertake an conceptual analysis of the social science meanings assigned to the terms “rents” and “rentier states,” propose and define a new and more abstract concept - fiscal rents - that encompasses resource rents and other types of rent identified in the literature, and demonstrate, using Argentina as an illustration, that intergovernmental revenue-sharing systems can give rise to a previously neglected type of fiscal rent, fiscal federalism rents. The argument that all fiscal rents, based on resources or not, have the potential to hinder democracy, and in particular that fiscal federalism rents are deleterious to subnational democracy, expands the rentier state literature in two directions. First, it shifts the focus up the ladder of abstraction from resource and other specific rents to fiscal rents. Regardless of their specific source, all fiscal rents share the key attributes of bestowing on incumbents fiscal external resources that do not require wide taxation and that have the potential to be much larger than what such taxation could yield. Second, the argument shifts the focus down by applying this more general understanding of rentierism to subnational regimes, an empirical domain that scholars of democracy have only recently tackled. Fiscal federalism rents do not reduce subnational democracy mechanically. Rather, they serve as an enabling condition that may or may not be exploited by subnational incumbents.
Gervasoni Carlos, “Measuring Variance in Subnational Regimes: Results from an Expert-based Operationalization of Democracy in the Argentine Provinces” Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 11-14, 2009.
This paper presents an operationalization of the degree of democracy in the Argentine provinces. Starting with a mainstream and “thick” definition of regime type, I measure each of its aspects using a subjective or perception-based strategy that taps the knowledge of experts. I present and justify the methodological design of the resulting Survey of Experts on Provincial Politics (SEPP) and conduct preliminary analysis of its results. Some aspects of the provincial regimes appear to be clearly democratic, while others are mixed or even leaning towards authoritarianism. Moreover, some show little inter-provincial variance, while others vary considerably from province to province. A systematic analysis of the central tendency and dispersion of the survey items allows for a general (although still incomplete) description of subnational democracy in Argentina. Inclusion is the strongest dimension of democracy, while institutional constraints is the weakest. Overall, the state of democracy in the provinces appears to be mixed (i.e., average levels are neither too high nor too low) and heterogeneous (i.e., there are significant inter-provincial differences).
Lodola Germán, "Subnational Particularistic Spending and Electoral Returns in Argentina and Brazil" (Febrero 2010)
Lodola Germán y Kikuchi Hirokazu, “Political Careerism, Ambitions, and Regional Interests in Senatorial Behavior: The Argentine Case” (Noviembre 2009)