Argentina under the Kirchners: The legacy of left populism by Marcela Lopez Levy

Publisher: Latin American Bureau and Practical Action Publishing (2017)

Author: Marcela Lopez Levy

To purchase the book please see this link




In 2003 Néstor Kirchner took power in a country still reeling from financial meltdown. He set out to reverse the extreme neo-liberal policies of the 1990s, and ruled through heady years of unprecedented economic growth.

Néstor was one half of a political couple — his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner won the race for the top job in 2007 and they swapped roles. In 2011 she was voted in for a second term with the highest support ever obtained in a presidential election. And yet in 2015 she was voted out on vague promises of ‘change’.

During the Kirchners’ administrations inequality had fallen, per capita income had nearly doubled, the economy had grown as never before – so what did people want to change? Why did they vote for the first ever democratically elected right-wing government? How was society torn apart into two vitriolic and equal opposing halves?

The legacy of Kirchnerism offers key lessons for progressive politics everywhere – and points to the challenges of taking on resurgent conservative forces in Argentina and around the world.


Table of Contents


Introduction: Populism, Peronism and the rift
Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007): a new kind of Peronist
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, CFK (2007-2015): contentious gains
Afterword: End of an era




‘This important book presents a highly readable, timely and definitive analysis of twelve years of Kirchnerism. It is essential reading for those who want to understand the dynamics behind how popular and successful left-wing governments are defeated and conservative administrations elected to replace them in Argentina and potentially other parts of Latin America.’
Daniel Ozarow, Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University and Co-Chair of the Argentina Research Network


‘Marcela Lopez Levy is among our foremost experts on Argentinean politics, and her new book offers a superbly insightful analysis of Kirchnerismo, deftly cutting through the controversies in order to clearly situate and explain its origins, achievements, and limitations. This is essential reading for anybody who wishes to understand Argentina’s recent history and will constitute a major work of reference for years to come.’
Dennis Rodgers, Professor of International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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