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Usted está aquí: Inicio Acerca del CLAD Publicaciones Revista del CLAD Reforma y Democracia Artículos por número publicado 003, Enero 1995 Argentina. State regulation in the presence of the sub-regional integration process in the Southern part of Latin America
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Argentina. State regulation in the presence of the sub-regional integration process in the Southern part of Latin America

Alejandro B. Rofman

The sub-regional integration process in the Southern part of Latin America toward a Common Market (MERCOSUR) is commented uppon, and major shortcomings, based on the Argentinean experience, are pointed out. The participation of civil society in the process is discussed; the regulatory role of the state is studied, and related conclusions and recommendations are made.

The first half of the paper shows the role of the social sectors, stressing their anticipation ability and actual strategic location in the integration process. Major differences among the various segments in civil society with regard to the benefits from MERCOSUR are defined, and the means used by the state to countervail potential inequalities are identified.

In the Argentinean case, a serious structural gap in business is evident. On the one hand, there is a highly concentrated management which does not need the state support because of its prompt and efficient decisions. On the other hand, there is a higher percentage of small and medium industry which struggles for incorporation and survival, and views the integration process as impairing its structural stability.

The Argentinean state has been working with different social agencies while searching for efficient ways to cement its central role in the context of integration. Nonetheless, MERCOSUR has not involved an open and participating debate. Decisions of member governments have been taken by the official elite following consultations with social organizations, rather than general discussions.

The second half of the paper provides an option for Argentina to undertake the sub-regional integration process, which would forward a more strenuous and effective regulatory state ability so that the goals shared by the different sectors of society can be achieved.

The state regulatory function -based on a new accumulation pattern- should change rather than disappear. The state should keep a central role in science and technology; it should sponsor new social commitments to manage the work force, with a view to giving the domestic economy a better place in the world market.

Finally, it is concluded that the state, both at domestic and world levels, cannot ignore the economic, social, and political issues resulting from the deep, current changes, particularly those related to the creation of such economic blocks as MERCOSUR. A new state role involves a high profile in making and furthering global and sectorial policies, in order to keep society -particularly the underprivileged- from being left behind or adversely affected by integration processes.

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