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As a result of the internal and external reforms introduced in the last two decades in Argentina, as in most Latin American countries, urban-based manufacturing activities have experienced a dramatic process of restructuring, which has prompted new social and environmental conflicts. In a context where macro-economic strategies are resulting in long-term restructuring of production patterns and local conflicts, it is important to assess the sustainability of current urban development trends. Focusing on a case study of the city of Mar del Plata, this paper looks at how the fishing industry has been restructured from a nationally confined to an internationally open system. The paper examines how and why governance frameworks regulating the appropriation and transformation of nature have changed during the restructuring process, and have consequently reshaped the ability of the local state, firms, and citizen-workers to protect the natural resource base on which the local economy depends.

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