The Neoliberal Political-Economic Collapse of Argentina and the Spatial Fortification of Institutions in Buenos Aires, 1998-2010

Themis Chronopoulos

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This paper demonstrates how social and political conflict is inscribed in urban space by focusing on the neoliberal political–economic collapse of Argentina, which was a conflict-ridden process with ordinary people protesting against institutions responsible for the neoliberalization of the economy. These protests affected the architecture of banking and government institutions, especially in Buenos Aires, which is the political and financial center of Argentina. Facing popular unrest and continuous political mobilizations, these institutions decided to physically fortify themselves and in the process displayed their vulnerability and illegitimacy. The fact that spatial fortification became a permanent feature of state institutions but only a temporary feature of international banks, raises questions about the way that neoliberalism operates and the way that blame for neoliberal failures is allocated. It also provides hints about the unsatisfactory political–economic outcome that emerged after the collapse, despite the fact that orthodox neoliberalism was at least rhetorically abandoned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-531
Number of pages22
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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