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9 - The Politics of Popular Coalitions

Unions and Territorial Social Movements in Post-Neoliberal Latin America (2000–2015)

from Part III - New Party–Society Linkages

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 January 2021

Diana Kapiszewski
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
Steven Levitsky
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
Deborah J. Yashar
Affiliation:
Princeton University, New Jersey
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Summary

At a general level of neoliberal repudiation or expansion of social policies, most post-neoliberal Latin American governments in the 2000s have exhibited similarities. However, coalitions with popular actors have displayed a lot of variation. In order to compare popular sector coalitions the article constructs a framework with two central dimensions: electoral and organizational/interest; in post–import substitution industrialization (ISI), Latin America the latter is composed of both unions and territorial social movements (TSMs). It contends that the region witnessed four types of popular coalitions: electoral (Ecuador and Chile), TSM-based (i.e. made of informal sector-based organizations, Venezuela and Bolivia), dual (i.e. composed of both unions and TSMs, Argentina and Brazil) and union/party-based (Uruguay). The study argues that government–union coalitions are largely accounted for by the relative size of the formal economy, and by the institutional legacies of labor-based parties. Coalitions with informal sector-based organizations were more contingent and rooted in the political activation of these TSMs during the anti-neoliberal struggles of the 1990s.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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