This book presents an overview of new approaches to the study of social movements emerging out of Latin America, based on original and innovative analyses of the recent changes in collective action across the region. Over the past decade, new repertoires of contention have emerged in parallel to changes in the configuration of actors, in previously established patterns of relationship between social movements and political institutions, and in the shapes of collaborative networks, both domestic and transnational. The authors analyze a broad set of countries and social movements, while focusing on three key theoretical debates: the interactions between routine and contentious politics, the relationship between protest and context, and the organizational configurations of social movements. The research agenda put forward by this book is neither defined nor restricted by geographical boundaries, even though the chapters are based on field research undertaken in Latin America. In doing so, this volume contributes to a still underdeveloped dialogue in theory-building in social movement studies, among scholars from the South and from the North, as well as among scholars specialized in different regions.
’This new collection blends traditions of research on social movements and contentious politics from various regions with Latin American perspectives in the Latin American context. Drawing heavily on the political process, resource mobilization, and transnational politics traditions, the authors advance our knowledge of Latin American contention in three areas: transcending the boundaries between contentious and routine politics; embedding social movements in the context of economic, political, and environmental change; and examining the new organizational repertoires that have emerged in Latin America since democratization.’ Sidney Tarrow, author of War, States and Contention ’Latin America has seen innumerable instances of political contention over centuries. However, mainstream social movement analysts from the political process school have paid fairly scant attention to that continent. This book fills this gap admirably. Far from imposing Western analytic categories over a different setting, the authors develop a fruitful dialogue between different theoretical currents. This book will appeal to both social movement analysts who do not specialize in Latin America and area experts from other intellectual perspectives. Highly recommended.’ Mario Diani, University of Trento, Italy and ICREA-UPF, Barcelona, Spain