Category Archives: Daily Disruption

The Politics of Demobilization: A Review of Soybeans and Power

By Federico M. Rossi

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Lapegna, Pablo (2016), Soybeans and Power: Genetically Modified Crops, Environmental Politics, and Social Movements in Argentina (New York: Oxford University Press).

Soybeans and Power by Pablo Lapegna takes the case of a rural community in Formosa (a northern province of Argentina that borders on Paraguay) to explore a crucial question for social movement studies: how to explain the demobilization of a social movement. A poor community of peasants experiencing local-level impacts of the global process of adoption of genetically modified crops (GMCs) and agrochemicals reacts differently in two instances. In the first instance, in the face of health and economic consequences associated with GMCs cultivation, it responds by mobilizing. In another instance, it reacts to the same consequences differently—by actively demobilizing. These seemingly contradictory strategies leads the author to propose an answer to the crucial question of why people sometimes choose to mobilize and sometimes to demobilize on the same issues and with similar grievances. According to Lapegna, cooptation and clientelism are insufficient explanations, and in this case there is no repression. Therefore, he proposes viewing demobilization as an agency-based process (p. 14, 16) that requires an ethnographic approach in order to appreciate the multiple layers at play in these sorts of dynamics, without overemphasizing the role of the elites while grasping the actors’ understandings of the dynamics at hand. Continue reading

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Another “Turning Point Myth” in the Political Battle over Gun Control?

Parkland is increasingly portrayed as the mass shooting that will finally change things, but are pro-gun supporters right to claim that it is but another headline that gun control advocates are allegedly peddling will bring stricter gun control laws? Continue reading

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Grassroots Mobilization in South America Today: Weakened Allies, Emboldened Opponents, and the Challenge of Sustaining Influence

In recent years, a central question for politics in South America has centered on the effect that the emergence of right-wing governments will have on grassroots mobilization throughout the region. Will organizations whose influence expanded during the “pink tide” of progressive administrations decline substantially? Or will they be able to use the resources, expertise, and networks accumulated since the early 2000s to maintain their leverage? Continue reading

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Reclaiming King During Black History Month: How Contentious Politics Transform Collective Memory

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On August 28, 1988, on the 25th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, a smaller crowd marched to the Lincoln Memorial to draw attention to Dr. King’s “deferred dreams” and the rollback of civil rights gains under the Reagan administration. In a statement, Coretta Scott King applauded the diverse marchers as she declared, “[Dr. King’s] dream of justice, equality and national unity is not the exclusive property of any race, religion or political party.” Continue reading

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The Opposing Movement Politics of Mass Shootings

By Eulalie Laschever

Mass shootings like the one at the country music festival in Las Vegas on the night of Sunday, October 1st, are horrible, gut-wrenching events. The evil of the act and the senseless loss of life stir grief and outrage and hopelessness, not just for these victims of this shooting, but also for other recent, memorable shootings like the ones at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, and many others. The public response to these shootings has become predictable: voices on the left call for new firearms restrictions, while voices on the right send their thoughts and prayers. Continue reading

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Comparing NFL Protests to CRM Protests

On September 23rd, Bernice King, Marin Luther King Jr’s daughter, tweeted this picture with the caption “The real shame & disrespect is that, decades after the 1st photo, racism STILL kills people & corrupts systems. #America #TakeAKnee @POTUS.”

Kneeling.png Continue reading

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Political Participation and Working Class Routines in the Piquetero Movement

Starting in the 1980s, Latin America has experienced an unprecedented wave of democratization. A region with a long history of military dictatorships, human rights violations, and fraudulent elections managed to sustain governments elected by citizens and high levels of political and civil freedoms. Latin American countries continue to struggle with high levels of poverty and inequality, and their governments are not immune to authoritarian attempts. Yet the overall predominance of democracy in this region is a remarkable achievement given its past. Continue reading

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