The Justicialist Party (PJ) of Argentina became one of the main political forces in Argentina since its founding by Peron in 1946. The Justicialist Party has been playing a pivotal role during the struggle in Argentine politics. Through the perspective of historical structure, this study is aimed to overview the process of organizational function, clarify the environmental and human factors that have constrainted the Justicialist Party in each period, inquire the causes and results behind the rise and fall of Justicialist Party during the period of over half a century from 1946 to 2010 in hope of reaching a conclusion regarding the development model and feature of Justicialist party and tasks and challenges it faced during the process of structural development.
The political chaos during the intermittent military and civilian rules in Argentina before 1983 resulted in the complicated phenomenon of Argentine political party systems. The Justicialist Party lacked stability and comprehensive structure of regulation that exists in a democratic political system, thus, the process of structural development of the party was difficult and tortuous. In this study, the figures of Argentine populism –President Peron and Menem – could be classified as strong leaders in political systems and Justicialist Party. Due to the mistrust of organizational function of the party, the leaders tried to suppress any new elites from becoming political rivals as well as any other factions or groups that could become strong powers in order to ensure the stability of personal power and status. The centralization of their power effectively strengthened the process of ─bandwagoning∥; moreover, reward services were adopted to establish Patron-Client networks in order to expand the support of loyal followers and consolidate the core field of power, which resulted in a loosely organized Justicialist Party that lacked consistent structure of routinization of procedures. Even opposition forces that gathered under the table knew that there was little opportunity to challenge the authority of leadership; therefore, Justicialist Party became the instrument manipulated by leaders and elites.
The phenomenon of lack of institutionalization and routinization of intraparty rules and procedures of Justicialist Party resulted in the weakening of party function and increase of internal efficiency cost, which also caused the phenomenon of struggle for power among factions on political stage. In 2003 presidential election, Justicialist Party permitted three Peronist candidates to run for the post for the first time in history as a result of factional divisions. At the same time, the weakening of The Radical Civic Union (UCR) could not constitute a balance against Justicialist Party, so that election became the internal competition of Justicialist Party after the loss of the largest opposition party. The election result caused the internal power restructure and reformation of Justicialist Party, and The Front for Victory（Frente para la Victoria; FPV）led by Néstor Kirchner became the core of main power within the party. The Kirchner administration effectively quelled the social unrest and led Argentina out of the economic depression caused by its most serious economic crisis of 2001 in history. The recovery of economy gradually reinstated political and social stability, which resulted in the promotion of democratization process and a step forward for the institutionalized process of Justicialist Party.
Since 2007 under the leadership of incumbent President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the regulatory structure of political parties has gradually been amended in order to maintain the operation of party function and stability. It is hopeful to see that the phenomena of serious disorder such as factional divisions and existence of small parties could be reduced and the party system of Justicialist Party could be more institutionalized after more comprehensive electoral system and respect for the rule of law as the guiding spirit of democracy are established in order to implement more mature and comprehensive party system and consolidate the democratic foundation of Argentina.