Friday, December 19, 2008

Latin American Perspectives: Call for Contributions to Special Editions/Issues

Latin American Perspectives: Globalizing Resistance-The New Politics of Social Movements in Latin America

Issue Editors: Richard Stahler-Sholk, Harry E. Vanden, and Glen Kuecker

A first issue on this topic was published in the March 2007 issue; manuscripts are now being solicited for a second issue

The last two decades have seen an upsurge of Latin American social movements, challenging the neoliberal paradigm and the governments that impose it. Movements such as the indigenous mobilizations of CONAIE in Ecuador, the cocaleros and mobilizations against water privatizations and gas pipeline investments in Bolivia, the Zapatista movement in Mexico, the landless rural workers of the MST in Brazil, Afro-Colombians resisting displacement in a region coveted by investors, and the piquetero eruptions of workers and the urban poor in the wake of Argentina's financial crisis, are contesting the region's political and economic systems.

These phenomena defy the expectations of the mainstream "transitology" literature, which saw social movements as a temporary outgrowth of the suppression of conventional politics by bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes, a trend that would fade again with the return of electoral democracy. The intensification of social movements appears to be not only an outgrowth of the traditional resistance and mobilization of the masses, but a response to the advance of neoliberal globalization. This resistance is, however, by no means exclusively manifested in class-based organizing. The global spread of free trade/market forces involves a rollback of the state, yet the neoliberal state has new functions of structuring and policing the new conditions for global capital accumulation. In this era of increasing globalization, pressure to integrate into global markets threatens a heterogeneous group of social subjects who are coalescing into new resistance movements.

These new movements seek to define a novel relation to the political realm. Unlike traditional guerrilla movements or electoral expressions of the left, they are not fundamentally organized to seize state power. Yet they have contributed to destabilizing and in some cases ousting governments (e.g. Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, and arguably Mexico's PRI), while coexisting in awkward relationships with left parties and guerrilla movements (e.g. Brazil's PT, and Mexico's PRD party and EPR/ERPI guerrillas). Parallel to the increase in social protest movements is the development of movement-based politics of a populist variety, such as Lavalas in Haiti and chavismo in Venezuela. From the Argentine cry of "que se vayan todos" to the Zapatista concept of "mandar obedeciendo," these movements are struggling for a radical redefinition of politics.

This issue of Latin America Perspectives will explore the roots and implications of social movement formation and their resistance to neoliberalism. Articles might examine the common explanatory elements of this phenomenon; the strategic elements of social movement confrontations with the neoliberal project of global capital; specific country or sectoral examples that illustrate aspects of this phenomenon and its political impact; how these new movements are different from previous popular mobilizations; or regional and transnational forms of social movement organizing.

Some of the questions that might be addressed in the issue include:

  • What is new about Latin American social movements since the 1980s?
  • What are the new spaces and modes of organizing against the neoliberal project?
  • Are these movements necessarily more internally democratic or progressive than other forms of organizing?
  • What strategies are effective in forging solidarity and counteracting the atomization produced by the uniform application of neoliberal programs?
  • Can these movements effect the policy changes they want without taking power or being part of a coalition that does?
  • By concentrating on society and not on the political organization of state power, are such movements capable of winning and defending lasting change? What should their relationship be to political parties and other institutions?
  • Is social movement resistance forcing adaptations in the "Washington consensus" on neoliberal economics, and/or in the politics of counterinsurgency?
  • Is there an emerging new popular economy, a model of local self-sufficiency that represents viable alternatives to the logic of global capitalism?
  • What is the relation between the politics of identity (race, ethnicity, gender) and class in organizing resistance against neoliberal globalization?
  • Are social movements vulnerable to cooptation by the new "civil society" projects and discourse purveyed by international financial institutions and NGOs?
  • How are popular movement strategies affected when left-leaning governments come to power and face the discipline of global financial markets?
  • What is the relationship between the resurgence of social movements and the various new populisms (left and right variants) that also seem to accompany the neoliberal era?
  • Do transnational social movement networks compromise the autonomy of local forms of resistance to neoliberalism, or are they essential for confronting global capitalism?
  • What is the potential of regional social movement solidarity (such as the Latin American women's movement, Vía Campesina, or the Mesoamerican coalitions against Plan Puebla Panamá)?

Prospective contributors should feel free to communicate with the coordinators of this issue:

Richard Stahler-Sholk, Eastern Michigan University:
Harry E. Vanden, University of South Florida:
Glen Kuecker, DePauw University: gkuecker[at]

Manuscripts should be no longer than 25 pages of double-spaced text in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. If possible, submit two copies along with a cover sheet and basic biographical information. With these items, we also require that the manuscript be sent on a CD-R, by e-mail, or on a floppy disk if the other formats are not available. The LAP style guide is available on request or online.

Please send any manuscript submissions to:

Managing Editor, Latin American Perspectives¸ P.O. Box 5703,
Riverside, California 92517-5703

Latin American Perspectives: Ecological Struggle in Latin America: Development, Scarcity and Environmental Justice in the Wake of Globalization

Issue Editor: Pamela Stricker

In its second special issue on the environment, Latin American Perspectives examines the continuing environmental crisis in the wake of globalization and popular responses to the crisis. In doing so, we are looking for articles in five general categories: a) examination of conflicts (neoliberal and/or domestic) over resource scarcity (oil, water, timber, arable land, etc.); b) Latin American state responses and/or alternative visions to the environmental crisis; c) popular movements and activists struggling for environmental justice; d) analyses of causes of the ecological crisis (particularly those resulting from capitalist accumulation, globalization, neoliberal development), and e) analysis of the relationship between consumerism and materialism, resource use, pollution, neoliberal economic restructuring, and global distribution of wealth in Latin America.

States often respond to questions of poverty with environmentally destructive models of economic growth that exacerbate resource degradation and fail to bring about social justice for the poor, often under the threat of neoliberal economic restructuring. However, popular movements are attempting to reformulate the development debate by linking basic human needs and limits of nature. Further as natural resources decline or are appropriated by global capital forces, the resulting development fails to sustain either the local populace or the country’s natural resources.

Again, popular movements (and some states) have struggled against the neoliberal forces seeking to appropriate their natural resources. Finally, Latin Americans know that a “Better World is Possible,” that is, where environmental justice concerns of the populace are addressed.

In that spirit, we seek pieces that critically analyze the environmental crisis in one of the areas. We also welcome articles documenting and critically analyzing the struggles of Latin Americans struggling for environmental justice against the forces of global capital.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

1) Conflicts over resource scarcity

---Critical analysis of Latin American petroleum politics and the global quest for oil.

---Critical analysis of privatization of natural resources (e.g. water and Cochabamba)

---Critical analysis of conflicts over natural resources (imperial and/or domestic)

2) Alternative Visions and the Environmental Crisis

---Theoretical pieces recasting development to consider both human needs and sustainable conservation of natural resources (local, national or regional levels).

3) State Policies and Programs in Response to the Crisis

---Critical analysis of state policy and programs in response to the environmental crisis.

---Critical analysis of role of non-governmental organizations, international governmental agencies, etc. on development and environment.

4) Popular and Social Movements and Struggles around Environmental Crisis

--Theoretically grounded case studies of environmental activists and their struggles around the environmental crisis;

--Critical analysis of ecotourism efforts (failures and successes);

--Critical analysis of interconnectedness between indigenous peoples, indigenous knowledge, and environment, again placed within a theoretical framework and the realities of the Americas.

5) Sources of ecological crisis in Latin America

--Critical analysis of globalization and/or neoliberalism and the exacerbation of the ecological crisis

-- Critical analysis of environmental impacts of natural disasters on traditional development strategies (particularly those exacerbated by global warming)

--Critical analysis of impact of environmentally-destructive activities on health and well-being of population, (e.g. pollution, farmworker pesticide poisoning, global warming, destruction of rainforest, etc.)

6) Consumerism, pollution, resources and globalization

---Critical analysis of consumerism and materialism and environmental degradation in Latin America

---Critical analysis of neoliberal economic restructuring and resource use and/or access in Latin America.

Latin American Perspectives is a theoretical and scholarly journal for discussion and debate on the political economy of capitalism, imperialism, and socialism in the Americas. Therefore, we hope that potential contributors will situate their analyses of environmental issues within critical literature as well as those works seeking to push the literature in new directions.

Pamela Stricker is coordinating this issue. Prospective contributors should feel free to communicate with her at the following address:

Pamela Stricker, Ph.D.
Political Science Department
California State University, San Marcos
San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

Manuscripts should be no longer than 25 pages of double-spaced text in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. If possible, submit two copies along with a cover sheet and basic biographical information. With these items, we also require that the manuscript be sent on a CD-R, by e-mail, or on a floppy disk if the other formats are not available. The LAP style guide is available on request or online.

Please send any manuscript submissions to:

Managing Editor, Latin American Perspectives¸ P.O. Box 5703, Riverside, California 92517-5703

Peruvian Migration in a Global Context

Issue Editors: Ayumi Takenaka, Karsten Paerregaard, and Ulla Berg

This issue of Latin American Perspectives explores contemporary Peruvian migration by examining how relations of inequality and structures of domination in Peru drive people to migrate - both internally and internationally - and how migration, in turn, affects such relations and structures. Historically, migration in Peru has been spurred and shaped by a complex set of racial, ethnic, and class relations, but it has also shaped and altered these categories in significant ways. During the colonial period, African and European immigration contributed to the country’s ethnic diversity whereas rural-urban migration in the context of 20th century capitalist expansion and rapid urbanization led to important changes in the country’s class and power structure. More recently, the economic and political crisis that Peru experienced in the 1980s, 1990s and the first half of the new millennium has prompted an exodus of Peruvians from almost all the country’s social classes and ethnic group to the extent that migration today is regarded as the principal means to achieve social mobility not only by working-class (some of indigenous descent) but also middle-class Peruvians. This issue addresses from various angles how the close link between class and a racialized geography within Peru has generated the notion that geographical mobility is a primary mechanism to achieve social mobility.

Currently, Peruvians are dispersed around the globe to more than 25 countries, and the rate of emigration is still accelerating. Peruvian migrants also represent diverse racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds. The diversity and intensity of the various waves in Peruvian migration history cannot be understood independent of hegemonic structures based on class, ethnicity, and geography. Upper-middle class Peruvians from Lima tend to concentrate in certain areas of Miami, whereas those of the urban working class migrate mostly to places including Paterson (NJ), Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. Andean villagers congregate in Hartford (CT) and Washington DC, and migrants in Japan are mostly urban middle-class of Japanese descent. While all migrants leave their country hoping to achieve upward mobility, this pattern of migration also reproduces Peru’s social structure abroad where migrant communities are socially segmented based on these “pre-migration” social and economic hierarchies.

Based on ethnographic, demographic and historical research in Peru, the US, Japan, Spain, Italy and Chile, the articles in this issue empirically show how exactly migration relates to, and potentially transforms, dominant social and economic structures in Peru. They do so by examining the strategies that Peruvian migrants from different class and ethnic backgrounds use to mobilize resources necessary to migrate and adapt to the receiving context. They also analyze the power relations affecting these strategies--how migrants and their relatives in Peru negotiate and reconfigure these relations during the course of migration, and how this process is shaped by new forms of exploitation and domination to which migrants submit themselves in their efforts to establish new lives in Peru’s urban centers and foreign destinations. Finally, the issue discusses the local, national and global mechanisms that alternately propel and thwart migrants to engage in transnational activities in their regions of origin in Peru and scrutinizes the institutions and networks, including the tensions and conflicts emerging from these, that migrants draw on or produce to carry out these activities.

A thorough and comparative examination of Peruvian migration will shed light on a number of important questions for the study of the economic and social forces that drive to people to migrate, internally as well as transnationally. First, it allows us to understand the relation between physical and social mobility in the Peruvian context and analyze how already ongoing rural-urban migration processes shape current patterns and experiences of transnational migration. Second, it provides us with a productive lens to study the class structure and relations of domination that shape the livelihood strategies and migration practices of hundreds of thousands of Peruvians. Third, it instigates us to explore the new forms of dependency and domination that migration processes produce in migrants’ regions of origin and to examine the tensions and conflicts that they generate between those who access important migrant networks and those who do not. Finally, this perspective allows us to examine how migrants’ absence and their remittances may transform – symbolically or materially - relations of inequality and existing power structures in Peru.

Transnational migration has also recently become a key political issue in Peru. According to the Peruvian state, close to 10% of the total population now live abroad, and popular media opinion polls have recently indicated that 75% of youths, including well-educated professionals, aspire to emigrate in the near future if they had the option to do so. Indeed, Peru currently has one of the highest rates of out-migration in Latin America. Acting upon its newfound realization of the economic and political importance of Peruvian migrants abroad, the Peruvian state has recently created several policy initiatives to include Peruvians abroad in a new imagined Peruvian nation spanning the geographical borders. While such initiatives are well known and documented for other Latin American states including Mexico and Haiti, Peru deserves special attention, as it is currently negotiating new state-migrant relationships. These negotiations are also affecting citizenship practices and claims of belonging of Peruvians abroad.

The proposed issue is thus a timely and valuable contribution given its interest not only to an academic audience, but also to a number of political and activist constituencies in assessing and managing the impact of Peruvian migration on Peru’s economic, political, and social structures. The articles included in the special issue speak to the impact of transnational migration on economies and societies in the global south, and also to current debates about immigrant incorporation in the US, Europe and Asia. In sum, the proposed issue provides not only new empirical findings of Peruvian migration through in-depth case studies. It also contributes to an understanding of the relations of inequality and power that expel millions of Latin Americans from their home regions and cities and force them to migrate both internally and internationally.

Manuscripts should be no longer than 25 pages of double-spaced text in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. If possible, submit two copies along with a cover sheet and basic biographical information. With these items, we also require that the manuscript be sent on a CD-R, by e-mail, or on a floppy disk if the other formats are not available. The LAP style guide is available on request or online.

Please send any manuscript submissions to:

Managing Editor, Latin American Perspectives¸ P.O. Box 5703, Riverside, California 92517-5703

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putri-bali said...

it'is so nice blog... some complate information. i miss to look up again this article.

Peter N. Jones said...

Thanks for the positive feedback. Looks like you have a pretty informative site on biking in Bali - a great, environmentally friendly way to get around and see the local environment.

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