Conservatives Against the Tide: The Rise of the Argentine PRO Party in Comparative Perspective

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACS) Seminar Series.

Co-sponsored by Einaudi’s Democratic Threats and Resilience Initiative

In this talk, Gabriel Vommaro will present his new Elements, “Conservatives Against the Tide. The Rise of the Argentine PRO in Comparative Perspective” (Cambridge University Press, 2023). The volume addresses the success of conservative parties in non-authoritarian contexts in contemporary Latin America. It places the core case of Argentina’s Republican Proposal (PRO) party in comparative perspective with Argentina’s Recrear and with Colombia’s Democratic Center party and the Bolivia’s Social Democratic Movement in an effort to understand their differing degrees of success in adverse circumstances. Based on long-term research using a variety of methods, this Element shows that success has been driven by three factors: programmatic innovation by personalistic leaders; organizational mobilization of both core and noncore constituencies; and elite fear of the ‘Venezuela model.’

After the talk, Professors at ILR Santiago Anria and Candelaria Garay will briefly reflect on Vommaro’s book in light of the rise of an even more radical right-wing alternative in Argentina.

Gabriel Vommaro is Professor of Political Sociology at the EIDAES, Universidad de San Martín and Researcher at the Argentinian National Research Council, CONICET. He received his PhD from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He has published on political activism and political parties, political clientelism and the state, and political communication. His books include Conservatives against the Tide (Cambridge University Press, 2023), Diminished Parties. Democratic Representation in Contemporary Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2021; with JP Luna, R. Piñeiro & F. Rosenblatt); La larga marcha de Cambiemos (Siglo XXI, 2017) and Sociologie du clientélisme (La découverte, 2015; with H. Combes). His research has been published by Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, Party Politics, LAPS and JLAS.

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