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On the Move

On the Move: The Politics of Social Change in Latin America

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 209
  • Book Info
    On the Move
    Book Description:

    "With irony, insight, and elegant simplicity, Veltmeyer shows us how the power of money and the power of collective commitment interact in the sweepstakes of social history." - Jan Knippers Black, Monterey Institute for International Studies

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0332-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 7-10)

    A left-wing current in the crosswinds of change is sweeping over Latin America. This current of change is a reaction against the political regimes that have been democratically elected to manage a process of adjustment to meet the requirements of a new world economic order. It particularly affects societies and economies in the region that have been reconstructed over the past two decades to integrate into this new world order. This process of integration, popularly known as globalization, has brought about epoch-defining changes in the way that these societies and economies are organized. These changes made to accommodate globalization have...

  4. ONE Neo-liberalism and US Imperialism
    (pp. 11-30)

    Latin America is at another crossroads. The region has been struck by the storm of a profoundly destructive and socially exclusive form of capitalist development at work over the course of more than two decades of neo-liberal reform. In the countryside and the cities, the landscape is littered with the detritus of this counter-revolutionary process. However, there are many signs that the economic model behind this process has reached its limits, having generated forces of resistance and opposition that are threatening to bring the whole system down.

    In this chapter, we examine the conditions behind these forces for social change....

  5. TWO A New Paradigm?
    (pp. 31-54)

    The idea of development has permutated over the years in response to changing conditions. Since 1945, when it was purportedly “invented” (see, in particular, Wolfgang Sachs, 1992), there have been a number of important changes in development thought and practice in association with historic events, such as a crisis in global production in the early 1970s, the opening of an extended class war between capital and labour (see Crouch and Pizzorno, 1978; and Davis, 1984), and a conservative counter-revolution that gave rise to a new epoch of capitalist development and globalization. A significant if indecisive shift in both the mainstream...

  6. THREE Social Capital and Local Development
    (pp. 55-70)

    The search for a new paradigm arose from the need for a participatory form of development. This new form of development should be not only more socially inclusive, equitable, and sustainable, initiated from below and within civil society, but should also empower those engaged in the process. However, a social capital focus on local development, a critical feature of the new paradigm (Atria et al., 2004), has little to do with the popular movement for social change. It is about sustaining the dominant model of capitalist development and globalization—a concern in some policy-making circles and international organizations. The viability...

  7. FOUR Participatory Budgeting and Local Government
    (pp. 71-84)

    The new economic model and proposals for “another development” called for a number of policy reforms, one of the most universally accepted of which was the need for administrative, that is, governmental, decentralization (see, inter alia, Blair, 1995; Rondinelli, et al., 1983, 1989). Decentralization, in theory, would be an important way to democratize the relationship of the state to civil society, and in the process it would strengthen civil society and bring government closer to the people. Thus, decentralization was an important adjunct to the democratization process, leading to a more participatory form of governance. In a milestone study, the...

  8. FIVE The Development Dynamics of Social Exclusion
    (pp. 85-108)

    Over the past two decades in Latin America, successive regions have undergone structural adjustment and globalization, and have experienced far-reaching changes in the socio-economic conditions of their development. Although the profound social impacts of the new economic model responsible for these changes have been well documented and analyzed, some questions remain as to the strategic and political responses to them. This chapter explores some of these issues in Latin American rural development.

    The chapter opens by exploring the offensive launched by capital against labour. This offensive, in the form of a neo-liberal program of structural adjustments to the economy and...

  9. SIX Rural Struggles and the Land Question
    (pp. 109-130)

    Rural movements for social change in Latin America have always revolved around landlessness or near-landlessness, a central problem that began when direct producers were separated from their means of social production. In more historically specific terms, this means that peasant farmers were driven from their land, and others expropriated it. The problem of landlessness has also been posed as a matter of land hunger and cultural identity: peasants and other rural producers and workers need to be reconnected to the land as a source not only of productive activity, but of everything that gives meaning to their lives. For governments,...

  10. SEVEN From the Barricades to the Ballot Box
    (pp. 131-148)

    Two decades of protests, spontaneous and organized, against neo-liberal policies in Latin America have had mixed results. Waves of spontaneous protests in some countries against IMF-mandated austerity measures have had little to no effect. Likewise, two decades of structural adjustments, such as the privatization of public assets and enterprises, have brought about only marginal changes in government policy, despite widespread, albeit sporadic, mobilizations against these measures. Only in Ecuador, and more recently in Bolivia, has the popular movement of resistance against neo-liberal policies resulted in a halting, and to some extent reversion, of neo-liberal policies of privatization and associated structural...

  11. EIGHT Movement in the Countryside and Cities
    (pp. 149-168)

    The Latin American countryside is on the move. What was once a predominantly rural society has transformed to an increasingly urban one in terms of social production, livelihoods, living, work, and residence. Nevertheless, rural society remains on the centre stage of social change in the region. Not that the dynamics of rural social change do not affect urban society. In fact, one feature of the new social movements (NSMS) that has arisen from these changes is their intersection, if not strategic or tactical alliance, with social forces of resistance and opposition in the urban centres, particularly in zones that encompass...

  12. Glossary
    (pp. 169-186)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 187-200)
  14. Index
    (pp. 201-209)