Advertisement

Neoliberalism and Social Movements in Latin America: Mobilizing the Resistance

  • James F. Petras
  • Henry Veltmeyer
Chapter

Abstract

The imposition of the neoliberal imperial order in the early 1980s polarized society and sharpened the contradictions between regions, classes, and ethnic groups. This chapter focuses on the dynamic growth of social movements that organized to recover political space and reverse the regressive capitalist ‘reforms’ imposed from above with the blessing and backing of the United States. The chapter analyzes the revival and buildup of the new class-based movements in the 1990s and the ensuing class and ethnic struggles that culminated in the new millennium in the replacement of the United States’ client neoliberal regimes in the region. From the smoldering embers and the ashes of the Washington Consensus in the first decade of the twenty-first century, there emerged a new, more pragmatic neoliberal order (and several post-neoliberal ones) based on a perceived need to retreat from an unregulated form of free market capitalism and move toward a more inclusive form of development. The conditions needed to bring about this ‘progressive cycle’ in Latin American politics included the activism of social movements in their resistance to the neoliberal policy agenda. These movements, with their social base in the working class, the peasantry, indigenous farming communities, and a semi-proletariat formed in conditions of peripheral capitalism, were responsible not only for bringing about the rejection of neoliberalism as an economic doctrine and a model but also in paving the way for the emergence of a number of post-neoliberal regimes oriented toward inclusionary state activism. These regimes, brought into power or backed by the social movements, shared with these movements a concern for bringing about an alternative form of national development, ‘another world’ beyond neoliberalism—and in some cases (Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela) beyond capitalism (Burdick et al. 2009; Gaudichaud 2012; Cameron and Hershberg 2010; Levitsky and Roberts 2011; Petras and Veltmeyer 2009, 2013; Sader 2011; Silva 2009).

References

  1. Abya Yala. 2009. Diálogo de Alternativas y Alianzas de los Movimientos Indígenas, Campesinos y Sociales del Abya Yala. Minga Informativa de Movimientos Sociales, La Paz, 26.Google Scholar
  2. Acosta, A. 2009. La maldición de la abundancia. Quito: Comité Ecuménico de Proyectos CEP / Ediciones Abya-Yala.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2011. Extractivismo y neoextractivismo: dos caras de la misma maldición. In Mas allá del Desarrollo, ed. M. Lang and D. Mokrami. Quito: Abya Yala.Google Scholar
  4. Auty, R.M. 1993. Sustaining Development in Mineral Economies: The Resource Curse Thesis. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Barrett, Patrick S., Daniel Chávez, and César A. Rodríguez Garavito, eds. 2008. The New Latin American Left: Utopia Reborn. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  6. Bebbington, A. 2009. The New Extraction: Rewriting the Political Ecology of the Andes? NACLA Report on the America September/October: 12–20.Google Scholar
  7. Borras, S., Jr., J. Franco, S. Gomez, C. Kay, and M. Spoor. 2012. Land Grabbing in Latin America and the Caribbean. Journal of Peasant Studies 39 (3–4): 845–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burbach, R. 1994. Roots of the Postmodern Rebellion in Chiapas. New Left Review 205 (May–June): 113–124.Google Scholar
  9. Burdick, J., P. Oxhorn, and K.M. Roberts, eds. 2009. Beyond Neoliberalism in Latin America? Societies and Politics at the Crossroads. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Cameron, M., and E. Hershberg, eds. 2010. Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  11. Collier, P., and A.J. Venables. 2011. Plundered Nations? Successes and Failures in Natural Resource Extraction. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Contreras Baspineiro, A. 1994. La Marcha Historico. Cochabamba: CEDIB.Google Scholar
  13. Cypher, J. 2012. Neoextracciónismo y Primarización: ¿la subida y decadencia de los términos del intercambio en América del Sur? Presentation at the International Seminar ‘Como Sembrar el Desarrollo en América Latina’, UNAM—IIE, México, DF, October 29–31.Google Scholar
  14. FAO – Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. 2011. The State of Food and Agriculture. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  15. FIDH – Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos. 2015. Criminalización de la protesta social frente a proyectos extractivos en Ecuador. www.fidh.org.
  16. Fine, Ben, and K.S. Jomo, eds. 2006. The New Development Economics: After the Washington Consensus. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  17. Fonseca, C., and E. Mayer. 1988. Comunidad y Producción en el Peru. Lima.Google Scholar
  18. Gaudichaud, F. 2012. El volcán latinoamericano. Izquierdas, movimientos sociales y neoliberalismo en América Latina. Otramérica. http://blogs.otramerica.com/editorial.
  19. Girvan, N. 2014. Extractive Imperialism in Historical Perspective. In Extractive Imperialism in the Americas, ed. J. Petras and H. Veltmeyer, 49–61. Leiden: Brill Books.Google Scholar
  20. Grugel, Jean, and Pia Riggirozzi. 2012. Post Neoliberalism: Rebuilding and Reclaiming the State in Latin America. Development and Change 43 (1): 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gudynas, E. 2009. Diez tesis urgentes sobre el nuevo extractivismo. Contextos y demandas bajo el progresismo sudamericano actual. In Extractivismo, ed. Política y Sociedad, 187–225. Quito: CLAES/CAAP. Available from http://extractivismo.com/documentos/capitulos/GudynasExtractivismoSociedadDesarrollo09.pdf.
  22. ———. 2017. Postdevelopment as Critique and Alternative. In The Essential Critical Development Studies Guide, ed. H. Veltmeyer and P. Bowles. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Harvey, D. 2003. The New Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hobsbawm, E. 1994. The Age of Extremes, 1914–1991. London: Abacus.Google Scholar
  25. Holloway, J. 2002. Change the World Without Taking Power. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  26. Infante, R.B., and O. Sunkel. 2009. Chile: Hacia un desarrollo inclusive. Revista CEPAL 10 (97): 135–154.Google Scholar
  27. IWGIA—International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs. 2010. The Indigenous World 2010. Copenhagen. Available from http://www.iwgia.org/iwgia_files_publications_files/0001_I__2010_EB.pdf.
  28. Katz, C. 2016. Is South America’s ‘Progressive Cycle’ At an End? Neo-Developmentalist Attempts and Socialist Projects. The Bullet, E-Bulletin No. 1229, March 4.Google Scholar
  29. Levitsky, Steven, and Kenneth Roberts, eds. 2011. The Resurgence of the Latin American Left. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Löwy, M. 1996. The War of Gods: Religion and Politics in Latin America. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  31. Macdonald, L., and A. Ruckert. 2009. Post-Neoliberalism in the Americas. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Marini, Ruy Mauro. 1974. Subdesarrollo y revolución. 5th ed. México: Siglo XXI Editores.Google Scholar
  33. Martinez-Alier, J. 2003. The Environmentalism of the Poor: A Study of Ecological Conflicts and Valuation. London: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  34. MST, Dirección Nacional. 1991. Como organisar a la masa. Sao Paulo: MST.Google Scholar
  35. Petras, J., and H. Veltmeyer. 2005. Social Movements and State Power: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 2006. Social Movements and the State: Political Power Dynamics in Latin America. Critical Sociology 32 (1): 83–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. ———. 2009. What’s Left in Latin America. Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 2010. Neoliberalism and the Dynamics of Capitalist Development in Latin America. In Globalization in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Berch Berberoglu, 57–86. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  39. ———. 2013. Social Movements in Latin America: Neoliberalism and Popular Resistance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 2017. The Class Struggle in Latin America: Contemporary Dynamics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Petras, J., and F. Leiva with H. Veltmeyer. 1994. Poverty and Democracy in Chile. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  42. Polischuk, S. 2016. Massacres of the Extractivist Industry: Poisoning and Criminalisation of Our Towns and Indigenous Peoples. The Dawn, Enero 5. http://www.thedawn-news.org/2016/01/05/massacres-of-the-extractivist-industry-poisoning-and-criminalisation-of-our-towns-and-indigenous-peoples.
  43. Robles, W., and H. Veltmeyer. 2015. The Politics of Agrarian Reform in Brazil: The Landless Rural Workers Movement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sader, E. 2011. The New Mole: Paths of the Latin American Left. London: Verso Books.Google Scholar
  45. Saguier, M. 2014. Minería para el desarrollo integral en la estrategia de UASUR. Presentation to the Conference ISA/FLACSO. Buenos Aires, July 23–25.Google Scholar
  46. Sena-Fobomade. 2011. Se intensifica el extractivismo minero en América Latina. Foro Boliviano sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo, 03-02. http://fobomade.org.bo/art-1109.
  47. Silva, E. 2009. Challenging Neoliberalism in Latin America. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spronk, S., and J.R. Webber. 2007. Struggles Against Accumulation by Dispossession in Bolivia: The Political Economy of Natural Resource Contention. Latin American Perspectives 34 (2, March): 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stedile, João Pedro. 2008. The Class Struggles in Brazil: The Perspective of the MST. Socialist Register 44: 193–216.Google Scholar
  50. Stédile, J.P., and B. Fernandes Mançano. 1999. Brava gente: a trajetória do MST e a luta pela terra no Brasil. São Paulo: Fundação Perseu Abramo.Google Scholar
  51. Stedile, J.P., and S. Frei. 1993. A luta pela terra no Brasil. São Paulo: Editorial Pagin Alberta.Google Scholar
  52. Tetreault, D. 2014. Mexico: The Political Ecology of Mining. In The New Extractivism, ed. H. Veltmeyer and J. Petras, 172–191. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  53. Veltmeyer, H. 1997. New Social Movements in Latin America: The Dynamics of Class and Identity. The Journal of Peasant Studies 25 (1, October).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. ———. 2007. Neoliberalism and Imperialism in Latin America: Dynamics and Responses. International Review of Modern Sociology, 33, Special Issue.Google Scholar
  55. ———. 2014. The New Extractivism. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  56. Via Campesina. 2012. Agrarian Reform in the 21st Century: Building a New Vision, Redefining Strategies, and Celebrating Victories. Press Release, July 19.Google Scholar
  57. Via Campesina-Brazil. 2008. Por qué nos movilizamos? ALAI-América Latina en Movimiento, Asamblea Popular, Junio 10. http://alainet.org/active/24605&langes.
  58. Zibechi, R. 2012. Territories in Resistance: A Cartography of Latin American Social Movements. Oakland, CA: AK Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James F. Petras
    • 1
  • Henry Veltmeyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologySUNY BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.Development StudiesSt. Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

Personalised recommendations