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Steven Levitsky, "Crisis, Party Adaptation and Regime Stability in Argentina: The Case of Peronism, 1989-1995," Party Politics, 4 (October 1998), 445-470.

First Paragraph:
Contemporary processes of economic transformation have posed a considerable challenge to Latin American political parties. The debt crisis, global economic liberalization and the collapse of communism have dramatically altered the policy and coalitional parameters in the region. Traditional left-wing projects have been discredited, and once mainstream import substituting or 'developmentalist' policies are now dismissed as populist and inflationary. Moreover, the new configuration of socio-economic winners and losers has strained established parties' social and electoral coalitions. These transformations are compelling parties to rethink their programs and reconfigure their coalitions. Such far-reaching changes can be difficult to absorb politically. Adaptive strategies frequently run counter to parties' traditional programs or the perceived interests of their members and constituencies and, as a result, party leaders are often unwilling or unable to carry them out.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1: A typology of political parties based on the dimensions of institutionalization and organizational linkage to mass base

Last Paragraph:
This article began with the premise that profound socio-economic change is difficult to absorb politically, and that it frequently leads to crises in political organizations such as parties. Party and party system crises can destabilize new democracies. When parties fail and party systems fragment or decompose, the quality, if not the stability, of young democracies is put at risk. Thus, party adaptation and survival can be important in determining the fate of democratic regimes in the context of social and economic change. This article has examined the case of the PJ in Argentina, a party that successfully adapted to the neoliberal challenge, and has argued that this adaptation was facilitated by the party's relatively low levels of institutionalization and bureaucratization. (1st paragraph of conclusion)