Volume 44, Number 175,
October-December 2013
Power and Space:
Revising the Theory of Regional Topics in Argentina
Ariel García and Alejandro Rofman

The theoretical-interpretive advances that proliferated in the last quarter century to understand contemporary evolution, based on some pioneering works of the mid-1970s, were centered on the individualization of social-economic subjects participating in the capitalist and non-capitalist accumulation processes of the different productive chains that constituted the axis of the productive regime in each region. These efforts continue to be isolated, uncoordinated and lacking an interpretive framework that would bind them together.

What is important to recognize, in its full magnitude and depth, is the dynamic that generates and links social relations with technical relations of production related to the major processes to generate value in the regions to study.

Social relations define social subjects, recovering the mode of behavior of each subject in the accumulation of capital and in the process to appropriate the benefits or collective revenue and these relations define, in accordance with the national and international context, the future direction of the process of reproduction of each economic activity.

Technical relations imply the ways in which technological patterns are generated and developed with regards to the objectives of the dominant social subjects and the capacity of each link in the productive chains to demand employment, organize technical sectors to support production and impose forms of production that aim to maximize earnings or revenue for the participating social subjects. The technical base is built as a function of the logic inherent to the mode of production (Gaiger, 2007: 99). These considerations should be placed in the context of in-depth research into the power relations that surround the regional space, in terms of those generated from outside as well as those reproduced from within, to identify the most relevant factors that condition the performance of the social subjects studied.

The proposal is that the theoretical-interpretive framework sketched out here includes these two dimensions of the accumulation regime (social relations and technical relations), enriched by an analysis of the direct and indirect consequences of their presence on a peripheral capitalist market like that of Argentina. These two types of relations should be analyzed in the context of their strong linkage. In this sense, researchers must realize that there is a permanent feedback effect of one on the other. At the same time, the presence of social space constructed as a variable must be integrated with a leading role.

In this way, with these requirements, which have been proposed as the basic elements for comprehensive understanding of regional processes, it will be feasible to deploy a set of public policies with expected implications – either favorable or unfavorable – for the future of the social subjects involved. These public policies will not result from a uniform, ahistorical, aspatial recipe applicable to all circumstances. Instead, they will have to be produced, applied and controlled in response to a given space and the behavior of the actors in the social construct of a region, whatever their insertion may be in the respective power structure.

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PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 195 October-December 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Moritz Cruz. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: January 9th, 2019.
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