I am very grateful for this invitation to present my research in Mobilizing Ideas. As a young scholar, I have been studying social movements, trade unions and other forms of political participation using a variety of methods depending on the research question I needed to answer. Ethnography, life stories and process tracing are the ones I used the most. In this short text, I will focus on the following topics of my scholarly production: 1. Public deliberation and urban movements; 2. The youth condition and political participation; 3. The role of social movements, trade unions and protest on democratization; 4. The struggle of the poor for their socio-political reincorporation; and 5. The multiple scales in the resistance to the globalization of neoliberalism. My aim is to very briefly introduce the core questions and answers I have researched.
Tag Archives: neoliberalism
Recently I went with friends to visit Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a Tsotsil indigenous schoolteacher and social activist from the Chiapas highlands municipality of El Bosque who is 13 years into his 60-year prison sentence on charges of participating in the 2000 killing of seven police officers.
The case of “El Profe” Patishtán illustrates many aspects of contemporary Latin American social movements that find it necessary to continue the struggle for justice outside of state institutions, even after the supposed metamorphosis of the authoritarian regimes of yesteryear. Supporters say Patishtán was framed on preposterous charges because he is an activist. He is an adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, a sympathizer of the Zapatista movement. The 1994 rebellion of mostly Maya indigenous, poor peasants in the southeast corner of Mexico was part of an upswing in the Latin American cycle of protest going into the 21st century (Stahler-Sholk, Vanden & Kuecker 2008). The Zapatista rebellion has struck a chord with a wider disillusionment with the political class that continues to fuel resistance across Latin America and beyond, as seen in recent creative protests from Spain to Turkey to Brazil. Continue reading
A few months away from the 40th anniversary of the 1973 U.S.-sponsored coup that led to the bloody overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, the coming presidential election of November 2013 in Chile has opened the deep wounds of nearly two decades of military dictatorship. As is well known—and has been amply documented—its sequels were brutal repression, suppression of political freedoms, exile, illegal imprisonment, assassination, torture, and state-sponsored terrorism whose reach led to the assassination of Pinochet’s opponents not only in Chile itself but as far away as Argentina, Italy, and Washington DC. The 1973 coup also inaugurated a neoconservative economic experiment, more popularly known as neoliberalism whose sequel was twofold: it brought about the most acute levels of social inequality in the country’s history, and it became the template used by world capital to restructure itself and its periphery so as to serve the narrowest of interests.[ii] Continue reading
I am interested in the epistemic modernization of the relations among the scientific, industrial, political, and civil society fields.
For centuries scientists have had to defend the precarious autonomy of their concepts, methods, and research agendas from attempts by governments, religions, and industries to influence them. Of course, extra-field influence can be generative. For example, the needs of the military and industry have helped to spur the development of whole research fields, from thermodynamics to chemistry. However, the funding priorities of the patrons of science also shape the contours of dominant and subordinate research programs in many research fields, and the resulting dominant research programs are not always aligned with a broad public interest. Continue reading
Since at least the 1970s, the intersections of science, technology and social movements have proliferated across the political sphere. Highly diverse in form and substance, these lines of connection are transforming the way societies make knowledge and press for social change. David Hess has described this general process in broad social-historical terms, arguing that society has entered an era of “epistemic modernization,” which is characterized by two dominant, counter-veiling trends.[i] Continue reading