An Argentine Social Movement: The Bauen Hotel Case

An Argentine Social Movement: The Bauen Hotel Case

Pablo Alberto Baisotti (University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5205-6.ch010


This chapter will focus on the reclaimed Bauen hotel as one of the pioneering manifestations of the SSE in Argentina, as an example of the post-crisis social and solidarity movement of 2001. The evolution of the events related to its establishment will be traced, highlighting some of its particularities. It will also provide a vision of what the SSE represents in Latin America. The question that arises from the study of the Bauen hotel is: Is the solidarity economy presented in the particular case of the Bauen workers a social movement that fights against the government for its rights?
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Latin American Vision Of The Sse

Individualism is a contemporary evil that has worsened more and more in recent years, especially in Latin America. Since the beginning of the neoliberal scheme implemented in the late 1970s, the continent has progressively reduced its capacity to respond to social demands, demonstrating an enormous deficit in welfare programmes and the existence of a large informal labour sector, due to the high degree of fragmentation of benefits and unequal access to them. The result is a widening gap between Latin American social classes as well as between countries in the North and South of the world. To face this growing problem - global? - collective action is required to generate positive socio-economic, political and cultural alternatives that promote change within the capitalist economic system itself and in which companies must accept greater social responsibilities and even seek for radical change in the prevailing economic system (Stiglitz, 2002, 2003, 2006; Rodrik & World Bank, 2006; Perdiguero, 2003; de Sousa Santos, 2004, 2008; Quijano, 2006; Sader, 2001; González Casanova, 2002, 2008; Mignolo, 2007; Holloway, 2004; Zibechi, 2007). It is unthinkable but clearly apparent that the financing of social policy rests on the financial contributions of the vulnerable groups that it fails to protect, since in part it is supported by indirect taxes. In general, it is accepted that in Latin America an intervening State, that guarantees an adequate level of benefits to the population has not been developed in the narrow sense, but rather there exist only States with “social policy regimes” (Huber & Stephens, 2012). Some countries have established a “safety net” for those who have not been able to achieve well-being on their own, while other countries attempted to implement redistributive policies to ensure basic and equal well-being for their citizens (Sánchez de Dios, 2015, pp. 663, 664).

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