Enduring Reform (Paperback)
Progressive Activism and Private Sector Responses in Latin America's Democracies (Pitt Latin American Series)
University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822963165, 272pp.
Publication Date: March 18, 2015
Enduring Reform presents five case studies from Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina in which marginalized groups have successfully forged new cultural and economic spaces and won greater autonomy and political voice. Bringing together NGO’s, local institutions, social movements, and governments, these initiatives have developed new mechanisms to work ‘within the system,’ while also challenging the system’s logic and constraints.
Through firsthand interviews, the contributors capture local businesspeople’s understandings of these progressive initiatives and record how they grapple with changes they may not always welcome, but must endure. Among their criteria, the contributors evaluate the degree to which businesspeople recognize and engage with reform movements and how they frame electoral counterproposals to reformist demands. The results show an uneven response to reform, dependent on cultural as much or more than economic factors, as businesses move to decipher, modify, collaborate with, outmaneuver, or limit progressive innovations.
From the rise of worker-owned factories in Buenos Aires, to the collective marketing initiatives of impoverished Mayans in San Cristóbal de las Casas, the success of democracy in Latin America depends on powerful and cooperative social actions and actors, including the private sector. As the cases in Enduring Reform show, the democratic context of Latin America today presses businesspeople to endure, accept, and at times promote progressive change in unprecedented ways, even as they act to limit and constrain it.
About the Author
Vivienne Bennett is professor of liberal studies at California State University San Marcos. She is the author of The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico and coeditor of Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America.
Praise For Enduring Reform: Progressive Activism and Private Sector Responses in Latin America's Democracies (Pitt Latin American Series)…
—Peter Kingstone, King's College London
—Philip Oxhorn, McGill University
“With a series of case studies from across Latin America that document whether, how, and why private sector actors might embrace progressive reforms to longstanding market or state practices, Jeffrey Rubin and Vivienne Bennett reveal the impacts of culture, history, and new forms of institutional and civic collaboration in the constant struggle to attain justice and achieve recognition in societies seeking to reverse the inequities of the past. This volume is not for those who want pat answers consistent with conventional ideological posturing about neoliberalism and its discontents. But for those who are willing to acknowledge the complexities and contradictions of progressive social change, and who want to know how citizens themselves have negotiated the boundaries of power through on-going political and social activism, sometimes in ways that help overturn the legacies of privilege, this book will gratify.”
—Diane E. Davis,Harvard University
--Latin American Research Review