Programa de Estudios sobre Saberes de Estado y Elites Estatales – Program for Studies on State Knowledge and State Elite


The research and discussion group on State Knowledge and the State Elite was created at the heart of IDES in 2004 as the product of an initiative by Mariano Plotkin, Federico Neiburg, Eduardo Zimmermann, Anahí Ballent and Patricia Berrotarán. Since then, we have held uninterrupted monthly meetings to discuss the work of the group members, as well as those invited from within and without the country. In this way, we have incorporated into the program both established researchers as well as those in training.

In 2007 a team of original researchers in the group obtained a PICT grant from the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (National Agency for the Promotion of Science and Technology). The group is composed of Mariano Plotkin (lead investigator), Anahí Ballent, Andrés Regalsky, Eduardo Zimmermann, Silvana Palermo, Jimena Caravaca, Patricia Berrotarán, Elena Salerno, Claudia Daniel, Martín Stawski and Valeria Gruschetsky.

The objective of this project, from an interdisciplinary perspective, involves three issues: firstly, the process of formation of the modern State, secondly, the creation of certain specialized knowledge, and thirdly, the formation of professional groups that become a technical state elite. Its interest is focused in the analysis of the connections between these processes, beginning with the study of the three specific disciplines: law, engineering, and economics. Initially concentrated on Argentina, we have proposed identifying “strong moments” in that process of coordination between the professional disciplines and the State: consolidation of the modern State and debates on the role of the State since the crisis of 1890 and the reformism of the Centenary, the situation during World War I; the crisis of 1930, the rise of peronism, and modernization during the 1960s. Defining the particularities and temporariness of each of these selected disciplines, along with their related state bodies, is an important part of our work at this stage.


In this way and by using specific case studies, we hope to contribute to the analysis of the evolution of logic during the considered periods in Argentine public policy, focusing not in the changes in political regime, but rather in the structure of the connected logic of the professional groups considered both internally and externally as a state technical elite.

We are particularly interested in establishing academic contacts with similar groups, inside or outside Argentina, that work in areas tied to the history of the State and its elites, the process of societal learning, and its ties with the development of the professions. Our perspective is inclusive from the methodological point of view.

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