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Key Issues and Texts: Power and Protest

Seminar 1: Populism: Mobilisation from above 1930s - 1950s (CJ)

This session sets the scene for an exploration of the variety of forms of modern political mobilization in Latin America by examining some precursors of ‘pink-tide’ populists like Hugo Chavez and Lenin Moreno. Populism is best thought of as a style, rather than an ideology, originating in reactions against first-wave globalization commencing around 1890. Populist movements and parties centered on charismatic leaders able to mobilize broad alliances of those newly-enfranchised groups who willingly identified as ‘the people’ and held elites responsible for their many grievances. The elites generally included the established – generally oligarchic and often land-based - political class, local business leaders (often stigmatized as vendepatrias), and foreign capitalists, generally branded as imperialists. Especially prevalent in twentieth-century Latin America, populist leaders relied on newly available public transport systems to concentrate large crowds for rallies in ceremonial urban spaces, and on radio to disseminate the message even more widely. In those instances of populism that proved durable (e.g. Peronism) initial personal charisma was generally bolstered and institutionalized by the creation of a party or reliance on trade union support.

Key issues 

  • Populism, Peronism
  • Neo-Populism
  • Political Mobilization
  • Pink Tide
  • Bolivarianism

Key texts

  • Joel Horowitz (1999). ‘Populism and its Legacy in Argentina’. In Michael L. Conniff, ed. Populism in Latin America. Tuscaloosa and London: University of Alabama Press, pp.22-42.
  • Rudiger Dornbusch and Sebastian Edwards (1989). ‘The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America’. NBER Working Paper 2986. (Only) available on line. This succinctly prefigures Edwards’s much later book, Left Behind: Latin America and the False Promise of Populism (2010).
  • Keith Roberts (2006). ‘Populism, Political Conflict, and Grass-Roots Organization in Latin America’. Comparative Politics 38:2 (January), pp.127-148. JSTOR

Bibliography

Seminar 2: The Cuban Revolution and guerilla movements in Latin America (GL)

This seminar considers the influence of the Cuban Revolution on Latin American social movements and political parties. It explores the ideology, social composition and practice of the urban and rural guerrilla groups that emerged in 1960s and 1970s, and discusses why some armed organizations had more success than others. The seminar also considers the historical legacy of guerrilla activity on Latin American politics today.

Key issues

  • revolution
  • guerrilla warfare
  • Voluntarism
  • Foquismo
  • Vanguardism

​Key texts

  • Che Guevara  ‘The Essence of Guerrilla Struggle (1960)’ and Guerrilla Warfare: A Method (1963) in David Deutschmann (ed.), Che Guevara Reader, (Melbourne: Ocean Press, 2003), pp. 64-84.
  • Timothy Wickham Crowley, Guerrillas and Revolution in Latin America: A Comparative Study of Insurgents and Regime since 1956, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), Chapter 3, pp. 30-48.
  • Robert H. Dix, ‘Why Revolutions Succeed and Fail’, Polity, Vol. 16, No.3 (Spring, 1984), pp. 423-446

Bibliography

Seminar 3: The role of the United States (GL)

This seminar considers the influence of the United States on Latin American political development. It looks at the activities of US public and private sector organizations during the Cold War and beyond. We discuss the extent to which an external power can affect the domestic politics of a sovereign nation.  We consider how different Latin American political and social movements view the United States and how this affects their practice and discourse.

Key issues

  • Hegemony
  • Imperialism
  • Dependency theory
  • Cold War

Key texts

  • Peter H. Smith, Talons of the Eagle: Latin America, the United States and the World, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), Chapter 4, pp. 113-147
  • Max Paul Friedman, ‘Retiring the Puppets, Bringing Latin America Back In: Recent Scholarship on United States-Latin American Relations’, Diplomatic History, Vol. 27, (2003) pp. 621-636.
  • Tanya Harmer, Allende’s Chile and the InterAmerican Cold War¸(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011), Introduction, pp. 1-19.

Bibliography

Seminar 4: The military dictatorships: resistance and repression (GL)

This session considers the political, economic and social factors behind the military’s rise to power in the Southern Cone in the 1960s and 1970s. We look at the bases of support for these regimes and the methods of repression used by the state.   We examine the different types of resistance to the dictatorships and consider why some regimes were more durable than others. What lies behind the longevity of the Pinochet dictatorship and the Brazilian military regime? We will also consider the role of international solidarity movements.

Key issues

  • The political economy of dictatorship
  • Domestic and external bases of support for military regimes
  • The disappeared
  • Human rights organisations
  • International solidarity movements

Key texts

  • Carlos Huneeus, The Pinochet Regime, (London: Lynne Rienner, 2007), Chapter 1, pp. 1-29.
  • Guillermo O’Donnell, Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Argentina 1966-1973 in Comparative Perspective (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), Chapter 1, pp. 1-39.

Bibliography

Seminar 5: Catholic Govenance and Liberation Theology (CJ)

Catholic social doctrine (CSD) developed in the late nineteenth century in response to the social impacts of industrialization and urbanization fed into the creation of twentieth-century Christian Democrat parties in several European countries, including Germany and Italy, but was also important in Chile and, to a lesser extent elsewhere in Latin America. While CSD and Christian Democracy were largely compatible with the hierarchical organization of the Catholic Church, the stress placed on base communities by liberation theologians from the 1960s, in response to the challenge from secular Marxist parties, presented a serious challenge to the hierarchy, but waned as evangelical Protestantism took hold toward the end of the century. Attitudes formed under the influence of CSD and liberation theology continue to influence some policy-makers today.

Key issues

  • Christian Base Communities
  • Liberation Theology
  • Religious thought and activism
  • Governance and Human Rights

Key texts

  • Edward A. Lynch (1998). ‘Catholic Social Thought in Latin America’. Orbis 42:1 (Winter), pp.105-118.
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez (1999). ‘The Task and Content of Liberation Theology’. In Christopher Rowland, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.19-38.
  • John Burdick (1992). ‘Christian Base Communities in Urban Brazil’. In Arturo Escobar et al., eds. The Making of Social Movements in Latin America. Boulder: Westview, pp.171-184.
  • Carol Ann Drogus (1995). ‘Review Article: The Rise and Decline of Liberation Theology’. Comparative Politics 27:4, pp.465-477. [JSTOR]

Bibliography

Seminar 6: The transition to democracy, inequality and the rise of social movements (GL)

This session considers the rise of social movements and discusses what constitutes a social movement. It considers the relationship between social movements and the state, exploring the concepts of autonomy, co-option and participation.  It looks at the impact of military repression and neoliberal restructuring on the Latin American Left and class-based organizations. It traces growing economic inequality, wealth and land concentration and the growth of urban shanty towns since the 1960s. It looks at rise of grass-roots urban and rural social movements in the 1980s and 1990s and considers how far these represented a new form of organizing.

Key issues

  • Horizontalidad
  • Co-option
  • Autonomy
  • Participation

Key texts

  • Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall and Ravi Kanbar, ‘Rethinking the Latin American City’, in Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall and Ravi Kanbar (eds.), Latin American Urban Development into the Twentieth Century, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 3-37.
  • Donatella Della Porta and Mario Diani, Social Movements: An Introduction, Second Edition,  (Oxford: Blackwell,  2006),  Chapter 1, pp.1-29

Bibliography

Seminar 7: Social Media and Political Organisations (TF)

How do governments, political parties and other types of political organisation in contemporary Latin America engage social media and digital technologies? What are the social, political and cultural consequences of this uptake? This seminar seeks to address these questions through an exploration of the intersection between politics and digital technologies in the region. We will consider the extent to which digital technologies are effecting democratic politics by tracing two parallel phenomena: the uptake of social media and the use of bots by 'traditional' political parties, in particular for online electoral campaigning; and the rise of the 'cyber party', an emergent type of (often) decentralised political organisation that typically both encourages participation and takes the perceived affordances of digital technology as the basis for its modus operandi.Key issues

Key Issues

  • Politics and Social Media
  • Automation
  • Electoral Campaigning
  • Political representation and its discontents
  • Democracy

​Key Texts

Electoral Campaigning

  • Filer, Tanya, and Rolf Fredheim. ‘Popular with the Robots: Accusation and Automation in the Argentine Presidential Elections, 2015’. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 28 July 2016, 1–16. doi:10.1007/s10767-016-9233-7.
  • Howard, Philip, Saiph Savage, Claudia Saviaga, Carlos Toxtli, & Andres Monroy-Hemández, (2016). “Social Media, Civic Engagement, and the Slactivism Hypothesis:  Lessons from Mexico’s “El Bronco”. Journal Of International Affairs, 70(1), 55-73.
  • Robertson, Jordan, Michael Riley, and Andrew Willis. ‘How to Hack an Election’. Bloomberg.com, 31 March 2016.

Cyber Parties

  • Partido de la Red. ‘Manifiesto de La Red’. (primary source)
  • Margetts, Helen. ‘The Cyber Party’. In Handbook of Party Politics, by Richard Katz and William Crotty, 528–35. London: Sage, 2006. (optional)

Bibliography

Seminar 8: The emergence of charismatic Pentecostalism: social movements 'in-spite-of-the-state' (LDW)

This session considers the emergence of Charismatic Pentecostalism and neo-Pentecostalism across Latin America. Focusing on the novel forms of citizenship that emerge from religious social movements and recent histories of post-colonialism and state abandonment, we will consider whether a globalized and mobile (neo)Pentecostal discourse - that is reshaping citizenship, experiences of precariousness and the urban form itself – can even be called a ‘social movement’.

Key issues

  • The (neo)Pentecostal Boom
  • Globalization
  • Post-Colonialism
  • Abandonment

Key texts

  • O’Neill, Kevin. 2015. Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala.  Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Burdick, John. 1998.  Blessed Anastacia: Women, Race and Popular Christianity in Brazil. New York: Routledge.
  • Hallum, Anne Motley. 2003. Taking Stock and Building Bridges: Feminism, Women's Movements, and Pentecostalism in Latin America. Latin American Research Review, 38(1):169-186.
  • Rubin, Jeffrey, W., Smilde, David and Benjamin Junge. 2014. Lived Religion and Lived
  • Citizenship in Latin America’s Zones of Crisis: Introduction. Latin American Research Review, 49 (Special Issue):7-26
  • Denyer Willis, Laurie. Forthcoming. The Salvific Sensorium and the Stakes of Abandonment.

Seminar 9: Social movements and the new left governments: popular participation, neo-extractivisim and indigenous protest (GL)

This session looks at the left-wing and centre-left governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil in the 2000s  and considers whether they can be considered ‘populist’. We discuss the relationship between social movements and these governments and look in detail at examples of ‘popular participation’, exploring once again the concepts of  autonomy and co-option. We consider the political-economic strategy of the new ‘Pink tide’ governments, their reliance on the extractive industries and the export of primary products, and discuss the circumstances in which extractive activities can lead to conflict with indigenous and rural social movements.

Key issues

  • Neo-populism
  • Participation
  • Autonomy
  • Neo-extractivism
  • Indigeneity

Key texts

  • Richard Stahler-Sholk, Harry E. Vanden,. & Marc Becker (eds.), Rethinking Latin American Social Movements, (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), Introduction, pp.1-19
  • Marcy Rein & Clifton Ross, (eds), Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements, (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2013), Introduction, available to view on Amazon
  • Anthony Bebbington, Social Conflict, Economic Development and Extractive Industry: Evidence from South America, (London: Routledge, 2012), Chapter 1, pp. 3-27.​​ (see Moodle)

Bibliography

Seminar 10:Transnational Advocacy and Social Movements​ (FKD)

This session will explore key concepts in transnational advocacy and transnational social movement theory and examine critically the current state of the debate. Focusing on Latin America, we will ask why and how have some Latin American social movements “gone global” ? What are the political effects of the transnationalization of social movements? Transnational social movements in Latin America are increasingly involved in horizontal, two-way interactions with their Northern counterparts, and are also permeating the state in new and surprising ways. Questions of power and the uneven North/South dynamic - such as the sources of finance for global NGO activity - nevertheless remain important. Examples will be drawn from the human rights, indigenous rights and international trade policy movements, among others. ​

Key issues

  • defining the transnational sphere
  • NGOs, social movements, and epistemic communities
  • the “boomerang”, “spiral” and “cascade” models
  • transnational movements and the state
  • transnational governmentality

​Key Texts (all online)

  • Risse, T., & Sikkink, K. (1999). “The socialization of international human rights norms into domestic practices: Introduction” In T. Risse, S. Ropp, & K. Sikkink (Eds.), The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lucero, J. A. (2013) “Seeing Like an International NGO: Encountering Development and Indigeneity in the Andes,” in Eduardo Silva, ed. Transnational Activism and National Movements in Latin America: Bridging the Divide. London: Routledge.
  • von Bülow, M. (2010). “Conclusions: Agency, Networks, and Collective Action.” In Building Transnational Networks: Civil Society and the Politics of Trade in the Americas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bibliography