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From la guerra sucia to 'A Gentleman's Fight': war, disappearance and nation in the 1976–1983 Argentine dictatorship

Scorer, James (2008) From la guerra sucia to 'A Gentleman's Fight': war, disappearance and nation in the 1976–1983 Argentine dictatorship. Bulletin of Latin American research, 27 (1). pp. 43-60. ISSN 1470-9856

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Abstract

Analysing the last Argentine dictatorship in the light of contemporary re-examinations of war, this article argues that the 1976–1983 dictatorship can be understood as a shift in war(s), from la guerra sucia to the Falklands/Malvinas conflict, from a limitless and unsustainable internal war to a bracketed external war. That external war is shown to be an attempt to re-found a nation imploding through disappearance. Drawing on the history of disappearance in Argentina reveals that, despite obvious differences, there are many continuities between the dictatorship and other regimes, emphasising the dangers of a politics that encourages a nation 're-malvinizada'.

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