, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 253–269 | Cite as

The Scientific Field During Argentina’s Latest Military Dictatorship (1976–1983): Contraction of Public Universities and Expansion of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET)



This study looks at some of the traits that characterized Argentina’s scientific and university policies under the military regime that spanned from 1976 through 1983. To this end, it delves into a rarely explored empirical observation: financial resource transfers from national universities to the National Scientific and Technological Research Council (CONICET, for its Spanish acronym) during that period. The intention is to show how, by reallocating funds geared to Science and Technology, CONICET was made to expand and decentralize to the detriment of universities. This was the primary tool used by the military regime to thwart higher education’s research development, bolstering research efforts at other realms. Thus, CONICET grew in budget, number of researchers, and staff size, creating new research institutes, while national universities struggled with reduced funding and were forced to shut down their institutes and programs. As a result, CONICET virtually concentrated all scientific research, foregoing the knowledge accumulated at universities, which drove a wedge between both institutions. This military approach to science and technology policy-making is discussed, bearing in mind the notion of dependence—both in terms of the state’s intervention in the inner workings of the scientific-university field as well as regarding the role played by international financial support in scientific research development.


Scientific field National Council for Scientific and Technological Research National universities Military dictatorship 


  1. Bohdziewicz, Juan Carlos. 2004. Bernardo A. Houssay y los institutos del CONICET. Buenos Aires: Instituto Bibliográfico “Antonio Zinny”.Google Scholar
  2. Buchbinder, Pablo. 2005. Historia de las Universidades Argentinas. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana.Google Scholar
  3. Ferrari, Paola. 2005. Políticas universitarias, estrategias de gestión y privatización del espacio público: los estudios de potsgrado y la transferencia de servicios y saberes. Un estudio comparado entre Brasil y Argentina. In Espacio público y privatización del conocimiento. Estudios sobre políticas universitarias en América Latina, eds. Gentili, P. and Levy, B. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.Google Scholar
  4. Gertel, Hector. 1989. Aspectos distributivos en el análisis del subsidio a la educación universitaria en la Argentina. Revista Crítica y Utopía, N°14–15. Buenos Aires.Google Scholar
  5. Mignone, Emilio. 1998. Política y Universidad. El Estado legislador. Buenos Aires: IDEAS.Google Scholar
  6. National Commission on Missing Individuals (CONADEP, for its acronym in Spanish). 1984. Nunca Más. Buenos Aires: Eudeba.Google Scholar
  7. Novaro, Marcos, and Vicente Palermo. 2003. La dictadura militar. 1976–1983. Buenos Aires: Paidós.Google Scholar
  8. Oteiza, Enrique. 1992. La política de investigación científica y tecnológica en Argentina. Historias y perspectivas. Buenos Aires: CEAL.Google Scholar
  9. Pagano, Nora. 2004. Las ciencias sociales durante la dictadura argentina (1976–1981). In La historiografía académica y la historiografía militante en Argentina y Uruguay, eds. Fernando Devoto, and Nora Pagano. Buenos Aires: Biblos.Google Scholar
  10. Pallma, Sara. 1977. Un año en la educación. Universidad: marzo 1976/marzo 1977. Revista Perspectiva Universitaria, Nº2, April. Buenos Aires.Google Scholar
  11. Perel, Pablo, Eduardo Raíces, and Martín Perel. 2006. Universidad y dictadura. Derecho, entre la liberación y el orden (1973/83). Buenos Aires: CCC.Google Scholar
  12. Pérez Lindo, Augusto. 1985. Universidad, política y sociedad. Buenos Aires: EUDEBA.Google Scholar
  13. Romero, Luis. 1996. La historiografía argentina en la democracia: los problemas de la construcción de un campo professional. Revista Entrepasados, Year 5, Nbr. 10. Buenos Aires.Google Scholar
  14. Thompson, Andrés. 1994. “Think Tanks” en la Argentina. Conocimiento, instituciones y política. Buenos Aires: CEDES.Google Scholar
  15. UNESCO-PNUD. 1981. PNUD Report on Latin American Development and Education. Final Reports. Vol. 3.: ParisGoogle Scholar
  16. Vessuri, Hebe. 1992. Las Ciencias sociales en la Argentina: diagnóstico y perspectivas. In La política de investigación científica y tecnológica en Argentina. Historias y perspectivas, ed. Enrique Oteiza. Buenos Aires: CEAL.Google Scholar
  17. Weinberg, Gregorio. 1987. Aspectos del vaciamiento de la universidad Argentina durante los regímenes militares recientes. Revista Universidad y Política en América Latina. Mexico: UNAM.Google Scholar

Archival sources

  1. Boletín Oficial, 04/24/1980.Google Scholar
  2. CONICET. 1978. Qué es, Qué hace, Cómo trabaja. Buenos Aires: CONICET.Google Scholar
  3. CONICET. 1980. Programa de desarrollo de Centros Regionales. BID-CONICET. Buenos Aires: CONICET.Google Scholar
  4. CONICET. 1982. Informe 1971–1981. Buenos Aires: CONICET.Google Scholar
  5. CONICET. 1983. Informe de las actividades 1976–1982. Buenos Aires: CONICET.Google Scholar
  6. CONICET. 1985. Boletín Informativo. Buenos Aires: CONICET.Google Scholar
  7. CONICET. 2006. 50° Aniversario 1958–2008, Book I. Buenos Aires: CONICET.Google Scholar
  8. Act Nbr. 21,276 (Boletín Oficial, 04/06/76).Google Scholar
  9. Act Nbr. 22,207 (Boletín Oficial, 04/24/1980).Google Scholar
  10. Argentina’s Ministry of Economy and Production, Economy Secretariat, National Budget Office. 2007. Sector Público Argentino No-Financiero-Cuenta ahorro-inversión-financiamiento-1961–2004. Buenos Aires.Google Scholar
  11. CONICENT Resolution Nbr. 217, dated November 25, 1976.Google Scholar
  12. Argentina’s Ministry of Culture and Education, Science and Technology Under Secretariat. 1981. Erogaciones para ciencia y tecnología en el presupuesto general de la administración nacional al inicio del ejercicio 1981. Buenos Aires.Google Scholar
  13. Universidades Nacionales. Reseña Estadística. 1986. Working paper, National Department of University Affairs, University Documentation and Information Sector. Buenos Aires.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Human Sciences, Social and Environmental (INCIHUSA)National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET)MendozaArgentina

Personalised recommendations