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Of Autocracy and Democracy, Or Discipline and Anarchy: When Organizational Structure Meets Political Ideology in Argentine Public Sector Trade Unions

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Abstract

This article explores how practices of participation are linked to political values within two state workers’ unions in Argentina. Distinct approaches to organization, described by informants as vertical and horizontal, are linked to the historical development of two main trends in the Argentine labor movement. The article examines both the organizational practices and narratives about those practices and argues that organizational praxis is an important means of articulating understandings of democracy, linked to differing ideas of the role of a trade union in relation to government. [trade unions, democracy, Peronism, social movements, horizontality, verticality]

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