The initial innovative institutional designs in Argentina date back to the 1990s and the 2000s when various mechanisms started to involve citizens in the projection and decision-making of policies related to housing, food, health, social assistance, and access to basic rights. In the context of increasing unemployment, poverty and marginalization of certain social sectors, which culminated in the political-institutional crisis of 2001, society sought new forms of interaction by fostering horizontal ties and inaugurating various self-managed and non-institutionalized assemblies and participatory spaces.
On the other hand, at the state level, since the 1994 constitutional reform, there have been several mechanisms of direct democracy recognized constitutionally. Its institutional designs have shown replicas in the provincial constitutions, which in the Argentine federal system have a broad range of powers. The most consolidated example is the Participatory Budget, implemented in numerous municipalities and with an institutional framework recognized through local ordinances and provincial laws.
Subsequently, since the decade of 2010, democratic innovations started to address other types of social rights. For instance, cultural themes; minority recognition policies; social, cultural and political inclusion of traditionally excluded groups; and citizen security. These innovations were being driven mainly by the national government and regional and local governments aligned at that time. In other cities and regions, where government parties followed a different political line, the growth of initiatives aimed at strengthening digital governance, transparency in management and election periods, and the development of online management tools that provide spaces for dialogue between governments and citizens.
In this context, both the assemblies, deliberative and participatory spaces for the formulation of policies, proposals, bills and collegial-consultative bodies represent an important sector of the democratic innovations implemented in Argentina. Some of these bodies belong to institutional structures created by the government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and play the role of accompanying the implementation of national policies at the local and provincial level.
There are also numerous cases of co-management of resources between the state and the civil society, mainly in housing, land ownership and rural production and development.
In addition, the numerous citizen initiatives for monitoring, developed in many cases by civil society groups or organizations or by independent efforts, have culminated in the production of various web platforms and mobile phone apps. These tools aim to control compliance with public policies, mapping situations of insecurity and controlling corruption and compliance with electoral regulations.
This graph indicates the percentage of each means of innovation adopted by all cases in the country. Each case draws on one (primary) or two (secondary) means of innovation; this graph reflects both. See our concepts page for a description of all four means of innovation.
This graph indicates the percentage of each end of innovation adopted by all cases in the country. Each case draws on one or more ends of innovation (up to five); this graph reflects all of them. See our concepts page for a description of all five ends of innovation.
Santa Fe Soil Observatory
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Bases for the Reform: A Constitution for Santa Fe
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