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Colombia Internacional

Print version ISSN 0121-5612


VOMMARO, Gabriel. From Party Building to Government: PRO-Cambiemos and the Limits of the “Right Turn” in Argentina. [online]. 2019, n.99, pp.91-120. ISSN 0121-5612.


Through the case of the Argentinean coalition Cambiemos, dominated by the Propuesta Republicana party (PRO), this article analyzes the limits of the “right turn” in a context of historical weakness of the forces that constitute that political faction. It studies the relationship between the particular features of the PRO construction process and its performance as pro-market reformer once in government.


The data come from a long-term sociopolitical survey that, through different stages of field work, used mixed methods to explore the PRO party construction process -in organizational, sociological and programmatic terms- and its transformation in recent years, as well as the performance of the Cambiemos government once in office. This survey included two questionnaires for party cadres, in-depth interviews with a sample of these leaders, in depth analysis of press materials and party documents, as well as the observation of internal events and meetings.


The article shows that the poor reformist results of the Cambiemos government are associated with the conditions faced by PRO when building a competitive coalition in a country with a historically weak right wing. These conditions are twofold: internal, related to the structure of the political coalition; and external, associated with the government’s originating conditions and performance. The first is evident from the programmatic divergences between the members of the government coalition. The second, through the structure of interests linked to the policy legacies from the previous period; as well as Cambiemos’ electoral and legislative weakness.


This article proposes a theoretical framework derived from a case study, to explain the relationship between party construction and government performance in cases of turns to the right commanded by newly created parties.

Keywords : Political parties; right-wing parties; turn to the right; pro-market reforms; PRO; Cambiemos; Argentina; Latin America; political sociology; comparative politics..

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