Steven Levitsky , "Institutionalization and Peronism: The
Concept, the Case and the Case for Unpacking the Concept,"
Party Politics, 4 (January 1998), 77-92.
In a recent debate on the transformation of Latin American
party systems, two scholars presented opposing arguments
about the relationship between institutionalization and
party change. Whereas one argued that the Chilean Socialist
Party was able to successfully shift to the center after the
late 1980s because it was well institutionalized, the other
claimed that in Argentina, Peronism's recent shift to the
right was facilitated by its lack of institutionalization.
This difference, it turned out, was not based on opposing
understandings of the relationship between
institutionalization and party change, but rather on
different definitions of institutionalization.
Figures and Tables:
These different combinations underscore the need to
disaggregate institutionalization into a set of more
specific concepts that refer to the particular
organizational phenomena that scholars are trying to
capture. The use of more specific terms would be an
important step toward a much-needed clarification of this
important, yet ambiguous, concept. Not only would such
specification permit scholars to focus more concretely on
the mechanisms by which organizations or behavior patterns
are reproduced, but it would also improve our analyses of
the consequences of such phenomena.