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The Ford Foundation, the Social Sciences, and Chilean Democracy

November 8 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Image description: this is a headshot of Patrick Iber. He is sitting outside. He is looking directly at the camera and smiling.Patrick Iber

Resident Fellow (2021-2022)

History, UW-Madison


In the United States, the Ford Foundation had a reputation for political liberalism and its connection to Democratic administrations. In the 1960s, it funded causes related to racial justice and the War on Poverty. Why, then, was it funding neoliberal and right-wing economists in Chile at the same time—the crew that would go on to provide the economic blueprint for the Pinochet government after it overthrew Salvador Allende in 1973? This talk will explore the politics of the Ford Foundation’s overseas work in the social sciences, and reconstruct the broader context for the foundation’s decisions.


Patrick Iber is associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he has worked since 2017. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 2011 and was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University from 2011 to 2013. His first book, Neither Peace nor Freedom: The Cultural Cold War in Latin America was published by Harvard University Press in 2015 and won the 2017 Luciano Tomassini book prize. In addition to his scholarly work, he writes frequently for the public on the history, politics, and culture of Latin America and the United States. He is a contributing editor to The New Republic and is a member of the editorial board of Dissent.


November 8
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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