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State-Social Movements relations in the Andean Region


This course can be done for 5 or 10 ects. If you want to take the course for 10 ECTS please consult with the teacher and register with prospectus number: 5654KLA11.

Admission requirements

This course is open to Master students (particularly those following the International Studies program) with interest in Latin America.


In the last decades the Latin American region has seen the proliferation and empowerment of social movements, raging from the Zapatista Movement in Mexico in 1994 to the more recent social protests in Brazil and the Student Movement in Chile. A diversity of social movements have come to the forefront of social protest at the local, national and supranational level, with real incidence in the political arena. Contrary to early conceptualizations of ‘new’ social movements, the Latin American experiences show a clear political role of these actors. This points to the important relation with State as the focal point of their struggle, as social movements have been key actors in the rise and fall of national governments.
The course first introduces the main scholarly debates on Latin American Social Movements. Then, with a focus on the Andean region, it takes a ‘dialectical’ understanding of State-Society relations to analyze in a series of case studies, the key tensions that characterize the interaction between the State and Social Movements. The issues taken under consideration are: – Autonomy vs. co-optation – Social protest (non-institutional) vs. political (institutional) participation – Representative democracy vs. participative democracy (political representation and participation) – Identity politics vs. universal citizenship (inclusion and exclusion)
The course is closed with the writing of an individual paper, in which one of the issues is analyzed in a case study of choice.

Course objectives

  • To insert students in the main academic debates regarding Latin American social movements.

  • To create insight in the ‘dialectical’ dynamic that typifies the relation between State and Social Movements.

  • To have an understanding of the key tensions that characterize the interaction between State and Social Movements.

  • To be able to apply the knowledge gained in a case study.


Consult the Timetable for updated information.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 24 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 42 hours

  • Time for preparing assignments: 34 hours

  • Time to write a paper (including reading/research): 38 hours

Assessment method

Oral presentation on the readings during the seminars (15%).

Final presentation of research progress on the subject of the final paper (30%).

Final paper (55%)
A paper of approximately 5000 words, written under supervision, on a case study of choice.

There is no resit for the oral and final presentation. It’s only possible to resit the final paper provided that the final grade is a 5 or lower.


The course will make use of Blackboard for the posting of importan information as the course programme, as well as other relevant material (documentes, bibliographic references, etc.).

Reading list

Alvarez, S. et al. (1998) ‘Introduction: The Cultural and the Political in Latin American Social Movements’ en Alvarez et al. , Cultures of Politics and Politics of Cultures. Colorado: Westview Press, pp. 1-29.
Bogason, P. y Musso, J.A. (2006) ‘The Democratic Prospects of Network Governance’. American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 3-18.
Buechler, S. M. (1995) ‘New Social Movement Theories’. Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 441-464.
Coy, P. G. y Hedeen, T. (2005) ‘A Stage Model of social Movement Co-optation: Community Mediation in the United States’. The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 46, pp. 405-435.
Dagnino, E. et al. (2007) ‘Innovación Democrática en América Latina: Una primera mirada al proyecto democrático-participativo’. Documento presentado en el Seminario Democratic Innovation in the South, San José, Costa Rica, Marzo 5-6 de 2007. (http://bibliotecavirtual.clacso.org.ar/ar/libros/sursur/democra/05dag.pdf)
Earle, L. (2013) ‘Drawing the Line between State and Society: Social Movements, Participation and Autonomy in Brazil’. Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 56-71.
Fleury, S. (2002) ‘El desafío de la gestión de las redes de políticas’. Revista Instituciones y Desarrollo, No. 12-13, pp. 221-247.
Foweraker, J. (2001) ‘Grassroots Movements and Political Activism in Latin America: A Critical Comparison of Chile and Brazil’. Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 839-865.
Goldstone, J.A. (2003) ‘Introduction. Bridging institutionalized and noninstitutionalized politcs’ en State, Parties, and Social Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-26.
Hilmer, J.D. (2010) ‘The State of Participatory’ Democratic Theory’. New Political Science, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 43-63.
Johnston, H. (2011) ‘The State, Protest and Social Movements’ en States and Social Movements. Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 1-30.
Melucci, A. (1980) “The new social movements: a theoretical approach”. Social Science Information 19: 199-226.
Migdal, J.S. (2001) ‘The State in Society approach’ en State in Society. Nueva York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3-38.
Natera Peral, A. (2005) ‘Nuevas estructuras y redes de gobernanza’. Revista Mexicana de Sociología, Vol. 67, No. 4, pp. 755-791.
Sørensen, E. (2002) ‘Democratic Theory and Network Governance’. Administrative Theory&Praxis, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 693-720.
Van Cott, D.L. (2008) ‘Chapter 3. Mayoral leadership and democratic institutional innovation’ en Radical Democracy in the Andes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Yashar, D. J. (2007) ‘Resistance and Identity Politics in an Age of Globalization’. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, No. 610, pp. 160-181.
The definitive literature list (including book chapters, academic articles and other material) will be available through Blackboard.



Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte


S. Valdivia Rivera
071 527 2061


The course can be extended to 10 credits. Please consult with the teacher for this possibility.

Presence during lectures is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of three sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments to the student.