This article draws on feminist scholarship regarding gender, especially the literature on Latin America, to argue that we should qualify prevailing grand narratives regarding the transition from welfare states to neoliberal states. Recent historical scholarship has re-emphasized the U.S. role in undermining movements for social, political, and economic democracy and in helping to roll back social safety nets and labor protections. But standard narratives on this transition fail to integrate the insights of feminist literature. That literature suggests that gender dynamics may converge with or diverge from other social, economic, and geopolitical forces—such as imperialism, neocolonialism, nationalism, or neoliberalism. Feminist scholarship and the changing condition of women, I suggest, require that we jettison tired narratives regarding imperial power and economic might and produce new ways of talking about historical transitions.


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pp. 149-162
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