Amy Offner is an assistant professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. She is completing a book, Sorting Out the Mixed Economy, which reinterprets two problems in postwar political economy: the making and unmaking of welfare and developmentalist states, and the rise of economic reasoning in public life. Because both phenomena unfolded simultaneously across world regions, the study is transnational, tracing circulations of ideas and practices within the Americas that ultimately remade two exemplars of midcentury capitalism: Colombia and the United States. The book makes two interrelated arguments. First, it reveals the Latin American roots of US social policy and intellectual life in the postwar period. Second, it exposes the midcentury origins of ideas and practices that ultimately dismantled welfare and developmentalist states after the 1970s. In retelling the history of midcentury political economy, the book wrestles with contemporary accounts of the rise of neoliberalism, and current fascination with the concept.
Offner’s recent writing includes the forthcoming essay, “Homeownership and Social Welfare in the Americas: Ciudad Kennedy as a Midcentury Crossroads,” in Nancy H. Kwak and Andrew K. Sandoval-Strausz, Transnational Cities: Past to Present (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). Offner has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the United States and the Cold War within NYU’s Tamiment Library, and has received fellowships from institutions including the American Council for Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the Inter-American Foundation, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Duke University Center for the History of Political Economy. Before beginning graduate studies, she worked as a union organizer and an editor at Dollars & Sense, a magazine and book publisher analyzing economic affairs. In 2008, she worked for the Landmine Survivor Network in Bogotá, Colombia.
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