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Falling dictatorships and troubled transitions to democracy in Latin America have dominated the agenda of social scientists of the region. These regime changes have largely been appraised within conjunctures of suddenly shifting political balances and economic crises. Such an approach seems all the more valid in light of the contemporaneous appearance of events: the swing to elected governments gathered speed in the early 1980s just as the international debt crisis hit Latin America with full force. In Argentina, the crisis culminated in 1982 with the Malvinas/Falklands War, the fall of the military, debouching into the triumph of Raúl Alfonsín in October 1983, and more recently with the victory of the Peronist Carlos Menem in 1989.
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