New Paper | Strategy and Steering in Governance: The Changing Fates of the Argentine Planning Council | By Rodrigo Alves Rolo, Kristof Van Assche and Martijn Duineveld

Abstract | Based on a detailed study of the return of national-level planning in Argentina as embodied by COFEPLAN, the national planning council, we develop a conceptual framework to analyse the possibilities and limits of steering in governance. We lean on the theoretical apparatus of evolutionary governance theory and use the concepts of goal dependency, interdependency, path dependency and material dependency (effects in governance) to analyse the reality effects of strategy (effects of governance). Methodologically, our study relies on archival work and semi-structured interviews with planning scholars and public officials from different levels of government. We show that, although material and discursive reality effects were abundant in the evolution of Argentine planning policies, dependencies and discontinuities undermined both the central steering ambitions of the government and the innovative potential of the new planning schemes. The dramatic history of the Argentine planning system allows us to grasp the nature of dependencies in a new way. Shocks in general undermine long-term perspectives and higher-level planning, but they can also create windows of opportunity. The internal complexity and the persistence of Peronist ideology in Argentina can account for the revivals of national-level planning, in very different ideological contexts, but the recurring shocks, the stubborn difference between rhetoric and reality, the reliance on informality, created a landscape of fragmented governance and often weak institutional capacity. In that landscape, steering through national-level planning becomes a tall order.

This is an article in the thematic issue Steering in Governance: Evolutionary Perspectives (2021, Volume 9, Issue 2)

Edited by Kristof Van Assche and Raoul Beunen
Complete issue:

Table of Contents:

Steering in Governance: Evolutionary Perspectives
By Raoul Beunen and Kristof Van Assche

Steering as Path Creation: Leadership and the Art of Managing Dependencies and Reality Effects
By Kristof Van Assche, Martijn Duineveld, Monica Gruezmacher and Raoul Beunen

Economic Transitions in South Africa’s Secondary Cities: Governing Mine Closures
By Lochner Marais, Verna Nel, Kholisa Rani, Deidré van Rooyen, Kentse Sesele, Phia van der Watt and Lyndon du Plessis

Irritation Design: Updating Steering Theory in the Age of Governance
By Marc Mölders

Social Investment Policies in the EU: Actively Concrete or Passively Abstract?
By Gaby Umbach and Igor Tkalec

Strategy and Steering in Governance: The Changing Fates of the Argentine Planning Council
By Rodrigo Alves Rolo, Kristof Van Assche and Martijn Duineveld

What Is the Role of the Government in Wildlife Policy? Evolutionary Governance Perspective
By Krzysztof Niedziałkowski and Renata Putkowska-Smoter

Mitigating Pro-Poor Housing Failures: Access Theory and the Politics of Urban Governance
By Katja Mielke and Helena Cermeño

Policy Assemblages and Policy Resilience: Lessons for Non-Design from Evolutionary Governance Theory
By Kris Hartley and Michael Howlett