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Contributed by Jonathan Ablard on 06/18/2013
Jonathan Ablard, History and Latin American Studies, presented "Before the Juntas: The Place of the Argentine Military in Civil Society before 1930" at the Latin American Studies Association in Washington, D.C.
In the three decades prior to the September 1930 coup, the military grew more present in Argentines’ daily world, most notably through military registration and conscription. Many Argentines voiced concern about the growing military presence in their lives. In this paper, I examined two facets of militarization that elicited deep discussion and action: the treatment of those who evaded registration and/or conscription and the place of military justice, in theory and practice, in the experiences of conscripts. Many Argentines, but especially those critical of the military, or who espoused anti-militarist positions, saw both of these issues as egregious intrusion by the military into civil society. Put another way, they did not take for granted, or at face value, that the military should be allowed to operate autonomously from the laws and expectations of civil society.