Argentina Study Abroad
Buenos Aires and Rosario
July 8-23, 2017
Ministry of Health Building on Irigoyen Ave., Buenos Aires
Academic credit: 3 hrs. CRMJ credit (CRMJ majors, counts for Cluster A; other majors, counts for general elective; other academic credit possible upon inquiry)
Approximate cost: $3,000 plus airfare (est. $1,250). Price includes tuition.
Citadel Student Funding available: Star of the West (early decision, 11/4/16), SHSS study abroad (apply early 2017)
Argentina today is a 43-million person country and is important within the 580-million person Latin American region. The country is a democracy, with an economy based primarily in commodity exports.
Historically, Argentina is younger than the ‘old’ colonial centers of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru, and as such has only a 350-year pedigree dating back to colonial times. Argentina lacked major indigenous populations such as the Aztecs and Incas, and further received heavy Southern European immigration in the late 19th century to complement the Iberian foundation of its population. This unique origin has given Argentina a distinctive set of institutions and political culture within the Western Hemisphere.
Politically, Argentina was one of the first modern democracies in the Western hemisphere and was the only Latin American country to be considered among the First Wave of global democratic expansion in the early 19th century. Argentinian politics succumbed to populism and military rule in the mid-20th century, and the country suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Britain in the Falklands/Malvinas war of 1982. Today, Argentina has substituted left-wing populism of Nestor and Kristina Kirchner (2003-15) with yet-to-be-determined politics of the right-wing businessman Mauricio Macri.
Economically, Argentina was one of the most affluent countries of the Western Hemisphere at the dawn of the 20th century, but has since fallen into economic disarray, periodically suffering high levels of inflation and still dependent on commodity exports. Argentina was responsible for possibly the largest sovereign debt default in 2001. Today, Argentina has been keenly interested in the rise of China as a consumer of its commodities. Unlike Mexico and Brazil, which have manufacturing sectors that compete with China, Argentina saw China’s rise as an unalloyed good, and its slowdown in negative terms.
Criminal justice and security challenges in Argentina are different from other countries in the region. Argentina does not suffer from an armed insurgency such as the FARC in Colombia, nor does it suffer from drug cartels, as in the case of Mexico. Most of Argentinian criminal justice reform has centered on political battles over oscillating centralization and decentralization in, for instance, the Buenos Aires preventative police forces under various governors from 1997 to the early 2000s.
We lack deep knowledge of Argentina in the US. The country is the furthest south of the Latin American republics, and it literally and metaphorically faces Europe. Unlike Mexico, about which we know a lot, Argentina is something of a cypher for Americans, and therefor offers a frontier of sorts for adventurous students and faculty.
Structure of the tour
Principal organizer is Dr. Brian Norris of the department of criminal justice at the Citadel. The tour is an interview-based format and does not require Spanish language, though this ability would be a plus for participants. Interviews would number 2 to 4 per day, for a total of 20 to 25 for the entire tour. Most interviews would take place in Buenos Aires the weeks June 12 and June 19, 2017. Topics would vary based on interviewee expertise. It is impossible to know beforehand the composition of the interviewee docket, but program organizer has been successful in the past procuring quality interviews, including the charge de affairs of the US embassy in Mexico; editor of the international section of a major Mexican newspaper; and leaders in academia and government in Mexico. Major institutions will be visited, including the congress, the national executive (La Casa Rosada, the Pink House), the supreme court, and key bureaucratic institutions, such as the Argentinian national census bureau. Strong contacts in business (see below) will facilitate interviews with business analysts and tours of productive operations. Security contacts will be harder to come by, but RESDAL (Security and Defense Network of Latin America) is located in Buenos Aires, and I have Mexican and Air War College-based security contacts who can help identify interviewees in this thematic area.
There will be a service learning component and brief homestay the weekend of June 17 organized by CIEE, and CIEE will provide emergency services in Buenos Aires.
There are three themes to the Argentina study tour:
- Politics, including major national representative and bureaucratic institutions
- Business, perhaps showcasing the soybean industry
- Criminal justice and security, with a focus on preventative policing
The rationale for the broad ranging subject-matter comes from a comparativist intellectual tradition. Businessmen might believe their challenges are unique dealing with the Argentinian government and business sector, but in fact criminal justice reformers face similar challenges. Obviously, there are sector-specific characteristics.
Casa Rosada, Executive Mansion, Buenos Aires