Protest State: The Rise of Everyday Contention in Latin America (Hardback)Mason W. Moseley (author)
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 07/06/2018
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Why is social protest a normal, almost routine form of political participation in certain Latin American democracies, but not others? In light of surging protests in countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Peru, this book answers this question through a focus on recent trends in the quality of governance and socioeconomic development in the region. Specifically, it argues that increasingly engaged citizenries - forged by economic growth and technological advances - coupled with dysfunctional political institutions have fueled more radical modes of participation in Latin America, as citizens' demands for government responsiveness have overwhelmed many regimes' capacity to provide it. Where weak institutions and politically engaged citizenries collide, countries can morph into "protest states," where contentious participation becomes so common as to render it a conventional characteristic of everyday political life. Drawing on cross-national surveys from Latin America and a case study of Argentina, which includes a rich dataset of protest events and dozens of interviews with political elites and citizen activists, Mason W. Moseley tests his explanation against other leading theories in the contentious politics literature. But rather than emphasizing how worsening economic conditions and mounting grievances fuel protest, this book builds the case that it is actually the improvement of economic conditions amidst low quality political institutions that lies at the root of surging contention in the region. Protest State offers a comprehensive study of one of the most intriguing puzzles in Latin American politics today: in the midst of an unprecedented era of democratic governments and economic prosperity, why are so many people protesting?
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 524 g
Dimensions: 243 x 163 x 20 mm
"Despite significant improvements in living standards and the presence of routinized elections, protests remain a way of life in many Latin American countries. Protest State is a first-rate book that bridges two large literatures-political institutions and behavior-to explain the wide variation in protest activity cross nationally and sub nationally in Latin America. Moseley aptly shows that protest states emerge in countries characterized by low quality institutions and high levels of citizen engagement in politics. This is a must-read book for students interested in contentious politics in Latin America and beyond."-Moises Arce, University of Missouri
"Engaged citizens in weak states fuel the fire of Moseley's Protest State. Citizens confronted with inattentive and ineffectual institutions, who demand policies and air grievances that go unnoticed. Eventually, citizens learn to shout their demands and the State learns to listen only to those who are the loudest. Moseley's book wonderfully shows that protests in Latin America can become a daily strategy to communicate demands rather than episodic flairs of grievances. Driven by engaged and educated citizens, politically active and embedded in local community organizations, Moseley's book explains why voters in Latin America are more likely to walk the streets than to write to their representatives."-Ernesto F. Calvo, University of Maryland-College Park
"In this truly insightful book, Moseley takes on explaining why citizens rely on protests as a form of political participation. He combines a Huntingtonian tradition, by focusing on the impact of institutions that fail to channel political demands, along with the effect of frameworks on collective action derived from the contentious politics literature while adding the subnational dynamics that can explain how democratic quality can vary not across but also within countries. The result of this complex theoretical framework is genuinely rich in its explanatory capacity while nuanced enough to provide a comprehensive understanding of regional patterns. This book is an outstanding contribution to both the scholarship on contentious politics and the politics of Latin America."-Maria Victoria Murillo, Columbia University
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