Routine Politics and Violence in Argentina: The Gray Zone of State Power

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Close to three hundred stores and supermarkets were looted during week-long food riots in Argentina in December 2001. Thirty-four people were reported dead and hundreds were injured. Among the looting crowds, activists from the Peronist party (the main political party in the country) were quite prominent. During the lootings, police officers were conspicuously absent - particularly when small stores were sacked. Through a combination of archival research, statistical analysis, multi-sited fieldwork, and taking heed of the perspective of contentious politics, this book provides an analytic description of the origins, course, meanings, and outcomes of the December 2001 wave of lootings in Argentina.