New paper by Rodrigo Hernán Alves Rolo | The persistent reinvention of state-led planning policies in Argentina: exploring path dependencies and policy ruptures
This paper investigates the interplay between institutional continuities and transformations in the making of national planning policies in Argentina since the beginning of the twentieth century until 2015. Building upon evolutionary approaches to path dependence theory, in-depth interviews with planning experts and a re-mining of the historical planning literature in the country, the paper argues that the disruptive and transformative role assigned to exogenous macro-scale events in official accounts of Argentine planning history has been significant, yet regularly overestimated. The study first provides a concise review of these official narratives and, then, introduces an alternative interpretative key for the historical articulation of national planning policies. A shift of focus towards the underlying continuities in the power/knowledge nexus that shape institutional paths of policy evolutions reveals three inertia-building mechanisms: discursive assimilation, organizational solidification and expert adaptation. The inclusion of these mechanisms in historical policy analysis illustrates the potential of more nuanced depictions regarding how common standards to understand planning and govern policy-making unfold in/through complex contexts of institutional evolution. In this way, attentiveness to these elusive continuities in power/knowledge configurations may trigger or inform new and more acute narratives of the historical articulation of planning policy formations. KEYWORDS: Path dependence, policy ruptures, institutional legacies, Argentina
Rodrigo H. Alves Rolo is a human geographer; he holds a master’s degree in rural development from the University of Buenos Aires, and is currently a PhD candidate at the Cultural Geography chair group at Wageningen University. His PhD project focuses on the path, inter and goal-dependencies shaping the formation of planning policies in Argentina at the beginning of the twenty-first century. He is also interested in the political dynamics of planning policy formations, democratic governance and the limits of consensus building in collaborative decision-making.