Graduate Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Edmund F. Wehrle

Thesis Committee Member

Sace E. Elder

Thesis Committee Member

Mark Dries


Between 1976 and 1983, Argentina was governed by a military government that oversaw both a brutal campaign against communism and a process of neoliberalization. During this period, the United States provided substantial economic support to Argentina through its approval of loans that enabled Argentina’s economic transformation. Early on, the United States was largely apathetic and complacent in regard to Argentina’s Dirty War. During the administration of Jimmy Carter, the United States attempted to confront the Argentine military government about its human rights abuses. However, a substantial contingent within the Carter administration pushed back against this initiative and worked to protect American influence within Argentina. This led to the human rights initiative being an institutional failure. Meanwhile, the neoliberal economic policies of the Argentine military government, which were supported by the United States, initially provided substantial success for the wealthiest Argentines at the cost of the lowest classes within Argentina. This economic success was ultimately short-lived, and the Argentine economy was left in a worse state by the time democracy returned in 1983. American-Argentine relations during this period left behind a legacy of failure and complacency, if not apathy, towards human rights abuses.