Daniel Gunnar Kressel

  • Fellowship year:2018-2019
  • University: Columbia University
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Latin America
  • Dissertation Title: Technicians of the Spirit: The Francoist Regime and Authoritarianism in Latin America's Southern Cone
  • My PhD dissertation explores the interconnected rise of Spain, Argentina, and Chile's far-right dictatorships of the Cold War era. It focuses on the technocratic project of the "end of ideologies" that emerged in Franco's Spain in the 1960s. Sponsored, among others, by the Catholic Secular Society Opus Dei, it promoted a neo-liberal model for development and a distinct system of cultural classification and exclusion called "bridged society" (sociadad de puentes). My work then explains how the Spanish model made its way to Latin America through an international intellectual network, and how it informed Latin America's authoritarian phase of the 1960s and early 1970s. I focus on the two regimes where the Spanish intellectuals encountered their most enthusiastic interlocutors: the dictatorships of Juan Carlos Ongania in Argentina (1966-1970) and Augusto Pinochet in Chile (1973-1988). By examining these regimes' development plans, education systems, and gender ideology, Technicians of the Spirit seeks to provide a new understanding of the far-reaching implications of the Francoist modernization of "European in the means, Hispanic in the ends" in Latin America.