Adopting Argentina’s popular uprisings against neoliberalism including the 2001-02 rebellion and subsequent mass protests as a case study, The Mobilization and Demobilization of Middle-Class Revolt analyzes two decades of longitudinal research (1995-2018), including World Bank and Latinobarómeter household survey data, along with participant interviews, to explore why nonpolitically active middle-class citizens engage in radical protest movements, and why they eventually demobilize. In particular it asks, how do they become politicized and resist economic and political crises, along with their own hardship?
Theoretically informed by Gramsci’s notions of hegemony, ideology and class consciousness, Ozarow posits that to affect profound and lasting social change, multisectoral alliances and sustainable mobilizing vehicles are required to maintain radical progressive movements beyond periods of crisis. With the Argentinian revolt understood to be the ideological forbearer to the autonomist-inspired uprisings which later emerged, comparisons are drawn with experiences in the USA, Spain, Greece UK, Iceland and the Middle East, as well as 1990s contexts in South Africa and Russia. Such a comparative analysis helps understand how contextual factors shape distinctive struggling middle-class citizen responses to external shocks.
This book will be of immense value to students, activists and theorists of social change in North America, in Europe and globally.
"This is an essential book for those who want to understand the processes of mobilization and demobilization of the ever-slippery middle classes. In it Daniel Ozarow analyzes the case study of Argentina during the last two decades. Ozarow, a great expert and scholar of this South American country and the book has two virtues: First, it does not simply reflect a snapshot of a moment in time, but carries out a rigorous historical study of the mobilizations and demobilizations of the Argentine middle classes, since the 2001-2002 revolt, covering the Kirchner period and the opening years of Macri's right-wing government. Secondly, it presents a comparative perspective and proposes hypotheses and analytical tools to comprehend such processes in other contexts and countries." — Maristella Svampa, Argentine Researcher at CONICET, writer and sociologist, La Plata National University
"Ozarow skilfully analyses Argentina’s 2001 uprisings, where horizontalism, direct democracy, the occupation of public space set a blueprint for the tactics and strategies adopted a decade later by global movements like Occupy, the occupation of the squares in Greece and Spain, and the Arab Spring. By tracing citizens’ political trajectories over the following two decades, he asks what lessons Argentina’s experience can provide for contemporary movements today in their respective contexts." — Paul Mason, Author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to our Future and former Economics Editor, Channel 4 News
"Despite its academic approach, this book is highly readable. It should be read not only by those interested in Argentina and Latin America, but by all those involved in political activism who wish to broaden the movement and build a project that seeks systemic change. The book is a good introduction to the Marxian theory of consciousness. Ozarow manages to examine the recent history of Argentina and extract lessons that are useful for activists across the globe." — Orlando Hill, Counterfire
1. Middle-Class Resistance to Proletarianization and Neoliberal Crisis from buenos Aires to Wall Street
2. That Sinking Feeling: The Experience of Mass Pauperization in Argentina, Hegemony, Control and Contentious Politics
3. "Crying for Argentina" (Or For Themselves?) Mobilization and the 2001-02 Saucepan revolt
4. Banging on the other Side of the Saucepan: The Struggling Middle Class under Kirchnerismo and Macrismo (2003-18)
Conclusions: Struggling Middle-Class Radicalism. Past, Present and Future
Appendix: Interviewee Sample