From Top To Bottom (and Back To The Top Again): Federal Spending, Sub-national Coalitions, and Protests in Argentina, 2002–2006

Lorena Moscovich


Can federal-state relations affect popular protests? Using an extensive dataset measuring local protests in the Argentine provinces (2002–2006), I assess the effects of the president’s and governors’ tactical allocations on the persistence of contentious events. I analyze how the delivery of federal resources, to both provincial governments and local social organizations, affects the chances of protests occurrence and the nature of its demands. Results show that federal spending increases the frequency of protests in the Argentine provinces, particularly when provincial governments are not involved in its delivery. In addition, protest demands are sensitive to president’s discretional expenditure, suggesting a different dynamics in which protests became a legitimate channel to obtain federal monies.

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