Anti-Poverty Programs, Social Conflict, and Economic Thought in Colombia and the United States, 1948-1980


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation shows how economic thought evolved through the experience of implementing Cold War anti-poverty programs, and how ideas circulated internationally. It follows US figures through three Colombian reform projects focused on regional development, urban housing, and economics education. It then follow participants including Albert Hirschman, David Lilienthal, and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations back to the US, where they helped redevelop New York City and promoted new forms of private investment and public administration. Throughout, it examines the ideas of competing social groups that interacted in these initiatives. The project is a social history of economic thought, in which reform projects and the conflicts surrounding them provide the context for studying ideas.