The Russian and Argentinian Experiences of Radical Reform: Between Economy and Politics

Mariana Heredia, Olessia Kirtchik


The 1970s and 80s saw a wave of market liberalization in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, but also in the United States and Western Europe, reaching Central and Eastern Europe by the end of the 1980s. Existing studies tend to focus on the decision-makers and adopt a monolithic view of reform implementation. To account for complexity, we study the cases of Argentina and the USSR/Russia from tentative market liberalization in the 1970s until the crisis of neoliberalism in the late 20th and early 21st century. After brief observations on the history of economic reform in each country, we consider the preconditions of reforms and the delegation of decision-making to economists; the institutional context and, in particular, tensions between political democratization and economic liberalization; and the unequal influence of neoliberal ideas within Russian and Argentinean institutions. Finally, we assess whether the neoliberal order remained intact after the crises of 1998 and 2001. In English, extensive summary in Russian.

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