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The Poor's Struggle for Political Incorporation
The Piquetero Movement in Argentina

$105.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics

  • Date Published: September 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107110113

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book offers an innovative perspective on the ever-widening gap between the poor and the state in Latin American politics. It presents a comprehensive analysis of the main social movement that mobilized the poor and unemployed people of Argentina to end neoliberalism and to attain incorporation into a more inclusive and equal society. The piquetero (picketer) movement is the largest movement of unemployed people in the world. This movement has transformed Argentine politics to the extent of becoming part of the governing coalition for more than a decade. Rossi argues that the movement has been part of a long-term struggle by the poor for socio-political participation in the polity after having been excluded by authoritarian regimes and neoliberal reforms. He conceptualizes this process as a wave of incorporation, exploring the characteristics of this major redefinition of politics in Latin America.

    • Presents a theory for understanding the cyclical pattern of expansion and contraction of the polity in Latin America
    • Critically evaluates conceptual innovation in strategy making analysis from a historical and collective perspective
    • Provides a comprehensive analysis of the largest movement of unemployed people in the world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The wave of anti-austerity protest that spread globally in response to exclusionary neoliberal policies in the 2010s had, in Latin American social movements, a major source of inspiration which calls for more scientific reflection. Theoretically original and empirically rich, this volume provides a most valuable contribution in this direction, bridging social movement studies and historical institutionalism, through a critical conceptualization of contentious politics as a relational phenomenon.' Donatella della Porta, Dean of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Centre of Social Movements Studies, Scuola normale superiore

    'Federico M. Rossi’s study of the unemployed workers’ movement in Argentina sheds new light on the patterns of social mobilization that lie behind the political reincorporation of popular sectors following neoliberal reform in Latin America. Rossi explains how historical patterns of class-based corporatist representation have given way to new kinds of social actors, more territorial forms of collective action, and new repertoires of contentious politics. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how Argentina’s piqueteros and other grass-roots actors have reshaped state-society relations and constructed new forms of social citizenship that challenge market orthodoxy.' Kenneth M. Roberts, Richard J. Schwartz Professor, Department of Government, Cornell University, New York

    'The Poor People’s Struggle for Incorporation provides a refreshing new framework on how popular movements struggle within historical pendulums swaying between social exclusion and institutional access. Focusing on arguably one of the most potent social movements in contemporary Latin America, the unemployed workers’ movement, Rossi passionately demonstrates how economically marginalized groups negotiate the treacherous path toward inclusion through assertive and strategic interactions with the state, political parties, and ossifying corporatist structures. In short, The Poor People’s Struggle offers a fascinating new model on how to understand the complex terrain of social movement mobilizations in the age of free market driven globalization.' Paul Almeida, University of California, Merced

    'Rossi’s book provides an excellent and detailed account of Argentina’s piquetero movement, and is recommended for any scholar or individual interested in Argentina’s recent political history. The work and analysis that went into sketching out each stage of the movement is extraordinary and interesting, and provides an example of a successful poor people’s movement … The consideration of the historical roots of strategies is appreciated and needed in social movement literature.' Cynthia Williams, Mobilization

    'Rossi’s monograph is of considerable interest, providing a large body of information on political organization and social mobilization. Its conclusions parallel those of other researchers whose work is included in this issue of Latin American Perspectives, emphasizing how important political mobilization against neoliberal policies was in securing some limited but broad-based government services and income transfers to retirees, the unemployed, and low-income households.' Ray Bromley, Latin American Perspectives

    ‘The main concepts used to construct this macro-historical narrative … makes a remarkable contribution to social movement studies by defining the notions of 'repertoire of strategies' and 'stock of legacies'. Constructed around blind spots in Charles Tilly’s traditional notion of repertoire, these concepts are presented as crucial means by which to avoid a teleological perspective when looking at re-incorporation processes. … By emphasizing the process whereby social movements rely on the sedimentation of past struggles and their results, Rossi manages to dissipate the structuralist foundation of Tilly’s original concept.’ Tomás Gold, Journal of World-System Research

    ‘This important book makes an original contribution to answering the fundamental question of how we can understand the relationship between processes of mobilization and sociopolitical change. While the author studies this relationship in the context of Argentina, its lessons also apply to other Latin American countries.’ Juan Pablo Ferrero, Latin American Politics and Society

    ‘The Poor’s Struggle for Political Incorporation is a landmark text for those studying social movements in Latin America. It revisits and updates Collier and Collier’s (1991) classic study of the incorporation of labour movements by the state and parties in the mid 20th century … Rossi argues that early 21st century Latin America witnessed a second wave of incorporation following the disincorporation of labour movements under neoliberal regimes. Of key interest to geographers is Rossi’s argument that this second wave was primarily territorially based, rather than a labour based process.’ Sam Halvorsen, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography

    ‘One of this book’s main values, therefore, is its refreshing elements of theoretical innovation, which appear to be widely applicable beyond a specific case study. The non-teleological or normative perspective on incorporation is an effective framework for analysing contemporary Latin American macropolitical shifts. At the same time, the concepts of the repertoire of strategies and stock of legacies offer concrete tools that scholars of contentious politics, even beyond Latin America, will find useful in their own work. Another merit of the book is that it refrains from reading the Argentine case through the often-abused lenses of exceptionalism, instead situating the Piquetero movement in the context of broader transformations and macroprocesses of sociopolitical change.’ Lorenza Fontana, International Sociology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107110113
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 167 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 3 maps 17 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Theoretical Framework:
    1. Introduction: a theory for the popular sectors' quest for inclusion in Latin America
    2. Beyond repertoires of contention: conceptualizing strategy making in social movements
    Part II. The Second Incorporation in Argentina:
    3. From the origin of unemployed workers' protests to recognition of the 'piquetero question' (1996–9)
    4. From recognition of the claim to the legitimation of the piquetero movement as a national actor (1999–2001)
    5. From movement legitimation to failed state reincorporation in the socio-political arena (2002–3)
    6. Party territorial reincorporation in the socio-political arena (2003–9)
    7. The aftermath of second incorporation: between continuity and change (2009–15)
    Part III. Comparisons and Conclusions:
    8. Social movements and the struggle to reshape the socio-political arena in Bolivia and Brazil
    9. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Federico M. Rossi, CONICET - National University of San Martín, Argentina
    Federico M. Rossi is a Research Professor of CONICET at the School of Politics and Government of the National University of San Martín, Argentina. Rossi received his Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence. Rossi's research interests focus on the relational study of social movements - state dynamics and on the historical analysis of strategy-making. His work has been published in more than fifteen edited volumes, in Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Perspectives, Social Movement Studies, Mobilization, International Sociology, Desarrollo Económico, and América Latina Hoy, among others. He is the co-editor of Social Movement Dynamics: New Perspectives on Theory and Research from Latin America (2015). Rossi has been Global Visiting Scholar at New York University, Postdoctoral Fellow at Tulane University, Louisiana and the European University Institute, and Visiting Researcher at the Universidade de Brasília and Singapore Management University.

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