Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
University of South Florida
Adriana Novoa, Ph.D.
Darcie Fontaine, Ph.D.
Harry E. Vanden, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Cornelius Boterbloem, Ph.D.
Julia Irwin, Ph.D.
Imperialism, Postcolonialism, Peronism, Latin America, Global History, Ideology
In 1973, Juan Domingo Perón (1895-1974) proposed a new world order to the Non-Aligned Movement, shortly before returning to the Argentine presidency after eighteen years in exile. He was Argentina’s most important modern figure but divisive. The military toppled Perón in 1955, and then outlawed him and Peronism. They considered his nationalism and authoritarian methods fascist nightmares, and United States officials passed similar judgments despite his victories in democratic elections. Today, his ideas continue to influence Argentina, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Vatican, yet, his authoritarianism and origins in a dictatorship taint his legacy. Influential media and scholars use him as a reference for a new nationalism that features populism, "me first" foreign policy, and the emergence of xenophobic governments in Western democracies. However, I argue that this misses the point—Perón enacted specific programs for specific contexts, but his core concepts transcend this and continue to offer practical solutions to problems related to development and imperialism today. He argued that the earthly satisfaction of all individuals and nations has a spiritual and material component, and that social justice, economic independence, and popular sovereignty can ensure them. I trace how he crafted a post-imperial vision over four stages in a decades-long analysis of a nation at odds with itself amid a contentious international context. As the colonial world order collapsed, he saw an opening for mass democracy to initiate an era of pacifist cooperation in which humanity could reach its full potential. This is a timely intervention in the study of Perón and Peronismo because the existing historiography often overlooks or ignores that his vision has value.
Scholar Commons Citation
Koch, Robert D., "The Geopolitics of Juan Perón: A New Order for an Imperfect World" (2020). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.