The Poor's Struggle for Political Incorporation

By
Federico M. Rossi
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Release Date
Number of Pages
328
ISBN
9781107110113

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.

'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 on Social Movements Studies, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)

'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's Struggle for Political 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'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 D. Almeida, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Merced)