Construction of Otherness: Links Between Immigration and Crime During the Cambiemos Administration (Argentina, 2015–2019)


In December 2015, the political coalition Cambiemos won the national elections in Argentina, taking the candidate Mauricio Macri to the presidency for a period of four years. One of the recurring topics within public opinion during that time was the explicit and public reference to an alleged link between immigration and crime by administration officials of various kinds. Against this background, I propose to specifically address the ways in which the links between immigration and crime were defined in the political discourses implemented during the Cambiemos administration. The article presents different core categories, reconstructed through discourse analysis: (1) ‘we need to know who is who’; (2) distinction in the types of immigration that arrive in Argentina; (3) tighter controls on the conditions of entry into the country; and (4) crime and migration. In broader terms, and as the argumentative plotline, each of these core categories relates to the Cambiemos initiatives to manage ethnic and cultural diversity: identify, select, control and criminalise.

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Published: 2023-06-01
Pages:59 to 71
Section:Special Issue. Southern Perspectives on Border Criminology
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How to Cite
Abiuso, F. L. . (2023) “Construction of Otherness: Links Between Immigration and Crime During the Cambiemos Administration (Argentina, 2015–2019)”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 12(2), pp. 59-71. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2887.

Author Biography

Universidad de Belgrano

Chief of Practical Works of Social Research Methodology at University of Belgrano, Argentina.

Practical Works Assistant of Social Research Methodology II at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Federico Luis Abiuso is a PhD in Social Sciences (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina). In his CONICET postdoctoral fellowship, under the direction by Máximo Sozzo and Néstor Cohen, he is currently researching the links between politics, police, immigration and crime in the City of Buenos Aires in the period between 2015 and 2019. During September 2022, he developed a research stay at the Università di Bologna (Italy). Participant of different research projects UBACyT, PRII and PICT.