This week the people of Argentina elected Javier Milei, the right-wing populist leader of a recently created libertarian party, as their next president—surprising observers around the world.
What do we know so far about his platform and plans? His agenda includes the adoption of the U.S. dollar as Argentina's currency, scrapping the Central Bank, engaging austerity measures more harsh than any required by the IMF, the privatization of government assets, the elimination of free higher education, and the criminalization of abortion. But what are the unknowns? As Milei has practically no previous government experience and his party holds a handful of seats in Congress, what scenarios lay ahead in the next four years in Argentina? What impact will this have on relations with the U.S. and other countries in the region? And what does this victory say about the global trend towards far-right populism?
Leopoldo Rodríguez is an Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Portland State University. His research focuses on the political economy of development in Latin America. Living part of the year in Argentina, he has ground-level insights on Argentine political developments.