The Political and Legal Challenge of Worker-Recuperated Enterprises: An Alternative Experience of the Political in Constitutionalism

Since 2001 the worker recuperated enterprises (ERTs) of Argentina have challenged the function, organisation, and normative basis of politics, law, and economics. This is a movement that frames its actions as a political struggle, and in so far as their conception of work rejects the structuring of work in response to market determinations, the ERT movement is normatively distinct from the political and legal status quo. They are an example of political and legal difference that has insisted upon the legality of its political aims, and won. I propose that a careful reading of the ERTs engagement with law reveals a distinctive conception of the relationship between political action and constitutional ordering. The survival of this movement challenges the conception that political difference is neutralised by law, and encourages a re-consideration of the role played by political agency in constitutional change.