Social movements in Latin America have always attracted a lot of attention and no small amount of passion. A key feature of the political and social landscape of the region, they defy existing theoretical frameworks because of the diversity and scope of their activities and appeal. Today, as the period of progressive governments that began in 2000 begins to unwind, social movements are again potential agents of transformation.
This textbook explores the full range of social movements emanating from different sections of Latin American society and motivated by many different concerns, including worker organizations, peasant and land reform movements, indigenous groups, women’s movements, and environmental groups. The mosaic of interlocking and connected issues and rights presents a complex map of social concerns and a potentially fragmented political force. However, as the book highlights, these movements are likely to be at the centre of any future progressive politics in Latin America and as such require careful understanding and a more nuanced theoretical approach than that offered currently to students.
Drawing on insights from Latin American approaches to social movement theory, the book offers a distinctive contribution to social movement literature. The text incorporates detailed case studies and a methodological appendix for students wishing to develop their own research agendas in the field.
Ronaldo Munck is Head of Civic Engagement at Dublin City University and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the University of Liverpool and St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia. He has authored or edited more than 30 books on various topics related to globalization, international development and social movements, including Contemporary Latin America (third edition 2012) and, most recently, Marx 2020: After the Crisis (2016).