The Past and Futures of the Welfare State in Latin America

AHA Session 124
Conference on Latin American History 31
Friday, January 3, 2014: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Thurgood Marshall Ballroom North (Marriott Wardman Park)
Jennifer Adair, Bates College Daniel Rodriguez, New York University
Barbara Weinstein, New York University

Session Abstract

This panel examines how the Latin American welfare state has been constructed and imagined throughout the region, from the early twentieth century up through the so-called "transitions to democracy" in the 1980s. Papers focus on Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, and cover a variety of welfare programs, from food and medicine, to housing and poverty alleviation schemes. They explore how both the ideal and limitations of welfare were critical to several historical processes over the course of the past century, including the construction of citizenship, democratization, gender identities, and nation building, among others. Together, the aim of the papers and discussion will situate the role of the welfare state in evolving debates about the historiographical frameworks of twentieth century Latin America.

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