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State-Social Movements relations in the Andean Region


Admission requirements

The course is part of the (Research) Master Program Latin American Studies. Master students (with relevant background) interested in the course may contact the lecturer to be admitted to the course.


In the last decades the Latin American region has seen the proliferation and empowerment of social movements, ranging from the Zapatista Movement in Mexico in 1994 to the more recent social protests in Brazil, the Student Movement in Chile and ‘#’ movements such as #NiUnaMenos and #YoSoy132. 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, 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. Particular attention is paid to the social movements’ new relation to social media and new technologies, assessing the impact of the use of new media on the form and content of social movement struggles. In this way the course seeks to assess the potential (and limitations) for achieving social changes of social movements, on key issues in the Latin American region.

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 understand the potential and limitations of social movements in achieving sociopolitical change in current issues in Latin America.

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


Timetable MA LAS

Timetable ResMA LAS

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars.

Course Load

10 EC x 28 hrs = 280 hours in total

  • Lectures: 12

  • Practical work: 12

  • Preparation tutorials: 8

  • Study of compulsory literature: 75

  • Preparation final presentation:33

  • Paper: 140

Assessment method


Oral presentation about the literatura material during seminar (pass).
Final presentation on the progress of the analysis of the case study for the writing of the paper (30%)
Final paper of 5000 words, writen under supervisión (70%).

The papers for students taking this course as part of their LAS Research Master are expected to formulate a research question that is strongly theoretically embedded and related in their case study to a key debate on Latin American Modernities (discussed in the ResMA core courses). To this end, ResMA students can request one extra individual meeting focused on helping them develop their theoretical framework accordingly.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


A resit is (in principle) only possible in the case that the final grade for the course is a 5 or lower. The components that have been evaluated as insufficient can be resit. The resit for the final presentation entails a short research proposal for the paper of ca. 1500 words. A revised version of the paper can be resubmitted as a resit in case of an insufficient evaluation.
The percentages of the components do not change in the resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

  • submitting the final paper

Reading list

The complete and definitive literature of the course will be announced in Blackboard before the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in Engels and Nederlands

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. S. Valdivia Rivera

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Class attendance is mandatory. Students may miss a maximum of three meetings. Depending on the number of sessions missed, the lecturer may impose complementary assignments in order to meet the requirements of the course.