In Search of the “Lost Decade”: The Politics of Rights and Welfare During the Argentine Transition to Democracy, 1982-1990


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the restoration of democratic governance in Argentina following decades of repressive rule and political crisis. It focuses on how government food, education, and welfare programs during this period transformed popular notions of democracy. By studying a broad range of social actors in Buenos Aires and the surrounding suburbs, this project juxtaposes two concepts—Latin America’s political opening of the 1980s and its concurrent economic crisis—that have remained analytically separate to uncover how both produced reformulations of the role of the welfare state, the concept of rights, political identities, and the meanings of democracy itself.