October 4, 2016

Book, "Mobilizing Democracy: Globalization and Citizen Protest" by Paul Almeida

Mobilizing Democracy: Globalization and Citizen Protest

Paul Almeida’s comparative study of the largest social movement campaigns that existed between 1980 and 2013 in every Central American country (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) provides a granular examination of the forces that spark mass mobilizations against state economic policy, whether those factors are electricity rate hikes or water and health care privatization. Many scholars have explained connections between global economic changes and local economic conditions, but most of the research has remained at the macro level. Mobilizing Democracy contributes to our knowledge about the protest groups "on the ground" and what makes some localities successful at mobilizing and others less successful. His work enhances our understanding of what ingredients contribute to effective protest movements as well as how multiple protagonists—labor unions, students, teachers, indigenous groups, nongovernmental organizations, women’s groups, environmental organizations, and oppositional political parties—coalesce to make protest more likely to win major concessions.

Based on extensive field research, archival data of thousands of protest events, and interviews with dozens of Central American activists, Mobilizing Democracy brings the international consequences of privatization, trade liberalization, and welfare-state downsizing in the global South into focus and shows how persistent activism and network building are reactivated in these social movements. Almeida enables our comprehension of global and local politics and policy by answering the question, "If all politics is local, then how do the politics of globalization manifest themselves?" Detailed graphs and maps provide a synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative data in this important study. Written in clear, accessible prose, this book will be invaluable for students and scholars in the fields of political science, social movements, anthropology, Latin American studies, and labor studies.

"The dynamics of local mass mobilization in the global South in the era of globalization cannot be reduced to a simple reaction against global forces as tended to be the case in the massive citizens' protests such as the 'IMF' riots interpretations. The legacy of the earlier state-led development period in particular offered a springboard for action today. Protecting the state infrastructure has been a major strand in moving into the post neoliberal period and this again sets a different context from the notion of 'new' globalization in an absolutely novel way."

— Ronaldo Munck - Journal of Social Policy

JHU Press, available here.
List Price: $29.95
ISBN: 9781421414096
Publication Date: June 2014

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