The English literature about Latin American social movements mostly originates from congresses, workshops or seminars. So, most publications are collections of articles. The papers collected in those volumes are for the most part about theoretical questions or about the movements themselves. A good example is the book edited by David Slater, New Social Movements and the State in Latin America (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1985). The papers collected in this volume originate from a CEDLA workshop held in October 1983. They were inspired by a belief in the importance of providing a forum for discussion and debate on the topic of new social movements and the state in Latin America. The combined analysis provides a series of theoretical points of departure and then the other papers tell us about Sendero Luminoso in Peru, the organization of Metalworkers in Brazil, the women’s movement in Nicaragua, and so on.
The book edited by Susan Eckstein, Power and Popular Protest. Latin American Social Movements (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989) is another good example of a collection. It includes case studies of Bolivian mining communities, ecclesiastic base communities in Brazil, the guerrilla peasant movement in Peru and Colombia, and also theoretical problems of the new social movement paradigm.
Carlos O. Campos, Gary Prevost and Harry Vanden, Social Movements and Leftist Governments in Latin America: Confrontation or Co-option? (London: Zed Books, 2012) is a book that analyses how the simultaneous development of prominent social movements and the election of left governments has radically altered the political landscape in Latin America. The cases analysed in this volume are ‘piqueteros’ of Argentina, indigenous movements in Ecuador and Bolivia, neighbourhood associations in Venezuela and Landless Rural Workers movement in Brazil. The collaborative collection tries to respond to the ways in which newly elected left governments answer to the social movements that played a major role in bringing them to power.
Alain Touraine, ‘An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements’, Social Research 52 (1985), pp. 749–787 is a very important author in the theme of Latin-American social movements. He discusses the principal theoretical characteristics of the new social movements in the 1980s.
James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements in Latin America: Neoliberalism and Popular Resistance (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) discuss the social struggles in Latin America in this century: the worldwide change in social and economic relations, accompanied by a multi-dimensional global crisis and the popular uprisings led by socio-political movements in last ten years. The personages of the book are the popular sectors that have recognized themselves to be prepared to and very able to resist the machinations of imperial power and corporate elites, taking direct action as well as voting for political parties promising structural change. This book tells the story of popular resistance in its multiple forms with and against the new post-neoliberal regimes and of the changing social conditions in an era of globalization and worldwide crisis.
The most up-to-date literature about Latin American social movements appears in the Journal La otra Mirada de Clio, published by the collective Contrahistoria, two issues per year. Bolivar Echeverría, Carlos A. Aguirre Rojas, Immanuel Wallerstein, the subcommandante insurgent Marcos from Chiapas are some of the authors whose researches and articles have appeared in the volumes since 2003. Almost all articles are related to the new social movements in Latin America.