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What the People Want: State Planning and Political Participation in Peronist Argentina, 1946–1955


This study examines an episode in the social history of state planning by focusing on the 1951 Peronist letter writing campaign. Perón's request for popular suggestions to the Second Five-Year Plan was met with enthusiasm from men and women across Argentina. As with other cases of state planning in the postwar world, the Peronist model of planned progress inspired many popular sector individuals and organisations, in part by offering them an intimate mode of political participation within an increasingly restrictive order. This appeal cannot be attributed to Peronist mass politics alone; rather, the regime's ideal of macro-level national planning also reinforced pre-existing practices of social activism in Argentine local communities.

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The author would like to acknowledge the JLAS editors and the two anonymous readers for their helpful recommendations, as well as the assistance of the Archivo General staff in Buenos Aires. Additional thanks for suggestions and critiques go out to Kristin Roth-Ey, Todd Stevens, Meri Clark, Michael Spaeder, Jeremy Adelman and, especially, Ashli White.
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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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