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Milei and the rupture of political science

In six months, Milei has not been able to pass any legislation in Congress due to his overwhelming parliamentary minority, but also to his demonstrated political inability to forge alliances.

Political science has always relied on the historical reality of the evolution of politics. Its intellectual challenges were, and still are, the permanent ups and downs that politics and governments go through in human history, since, in short, politics is the human art of giving forms of organization. Therefore, the development of political science is symptomatic of the evolution of political forms of government in humanity’s civilizing process.

In so many centuries of political thought, the science of politics has already established certain agreements — quasi-laws — regarding the conditions of possibility that every democratic government has to be able to advance in the program that led it to electoral victory and, from there, to establish itself as a legitimate government. Thus, agreement, negotiation, parliamentary majority, the production of laws, the formation of cabinets, administrative rationality, and the achievement of socially fair and tolerable objectives are some of those conditions that all manuals and treatises on the science of politics establish as the indisputable canon for the relative success of a governmental period.

The current case of Argentine politics and the government of Javier Milei can also be thought of as a state of affairs that has challenged, if not broken, a large part of those considered mainstream basics of contemporary political science.

Javier Milei’s government is about to complete six months in office. In this period, he was unable to pass any law in Congress due to its parliamentary minority and its demonstrated political inability to forge alliances. The mother bill, the so-called Ley Bases, a set of bills that would mean a structural and cultural transformation of the country’s politics, economy, and social life, was submitted to Congress, withdrawn, amended, resubmitted, withdrawn and amended again, and as of today, its approval is uncertain, not to say difficult.

The GDP of the Argentine economy in March 2024 shows a drop of more than 8% concerning March 2023. Consumption has fallen by more than 10% annually. Poverty has increased, over an already intolerable level, by more than 10% in the last five months. Banks have reported that 275,000 salary accounts have been terminated in the last three months, which translates into an equal drop in formal jobs. In the informal sector of the economy, about 45% of the Economically Active Population, the economic recession is wreaking havoc.

The political management of the government appears to be similar to the administration of a consortium of owners or a sports association. There is a permanent change of officials both in the national cabinet and in the second and third lines of state administration. This implies a structural incapacity in the design and implementation of public policies, extremely necessary either due to the crisis Argentina is going through or due to the government’s repeated discourse regarding the historical transformation it wants to generate in the country.

However, this is not at all an encouraging panorama. All public opinion surveys currently coincide in pointing out that the support for Milei’s government — as it is vox populi among his followers that the government does not belong to a party but to a person — is quite similar to the electoral flow that allowed him to win the presidential election: between 50% and 55%. This majority support observes other particularities such as being heterogeneous in terms of social structure. That is to say, transversal in the scale of economic welfare, more pronounced in young people than in older adults, and more prone in the male population than in the female population. In short, interesting data to correlate with Milei’s discursive and scenic style.

What is certain is that the relationship between the performance of the new government, the social support it has, and the modalities and partial results of management so far achieved, almost zero, challenge, if not contradict in some aspects, the basic postulates that political science established until now as an essential condition for a government that wants to keep social and political support, and thus advance in its electoral program.


Director of the Degree in Political Science and Government of the National University of Lanús. Regular professor of the School of Social Sciences of the Univ. of Buenos Aires UBA. Degree in Sociology from the UBA and in Political Science from Flacso-Argentina.


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