Mastering the crisis? Sustaining governance in the Argentine Redes de Trueque

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Institutional responses from civil society without state intervention have serious operative problems. The Argentine Redes de Trueque were no exception and at the peak of their scale they began to crumble. Their organisers tried to find functional equivalents to the state as regulator of economic activity but they mostly failed to do so. All the networks and groups in the RTs declined sharply in terms of participants around the middle of 2002 and by 2006 their total membership had plummeted to about 150,000 participants, down from 2.5 million in 2000. However, some groups and networks resisted the fall better than others and continued to operate to this date. The unequal rise and decline of these networks sharing the same context and origin begs an explanation. Why were some of them more resilient to the fall? What are the rules of governance and sustainability of this institutional response to the crisis? ‘Sustainability’ is defined as the resilience to decline in the practice of the Argentine RTs. The proposed paper analyses the prospects of a complementary currency system as an institutional response of civil society to a deep economic crisis. It follows the framework of governance systems developed by Hollingsworth et al. (1994), Hollingsworth and Boyer (1997) and Jessop (1998). The study uses data gathered in two periods of fieldwork in 2004 and 2006. The research has found that the organisational forms structured by the various Argentine RTs were sustainable at different scales of operation. They were grouped according to the governance systems they formed into a) horizontal markets, b) hierarchical systems, c) local community groups, and d) associational regional networks.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2011
EventInternational Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies 2011 - Lyon
Duration: 16 Feb 201117 Feb 2011


ConferenceInternational Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies 2011

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