Associate professors of sociology Millie Thayer and Agustin Lao-Montes and political science professor Sonia E. Alvarez are co-editors of “Beyond Civil Society: Activism, Participation, and Protest in Latin America,” published by Duke University Press.
The book argues that the conventional distinction between civic and un-civic protest, and between activism in institutions and in the streets, does not accurately describe the complex interactions of forms and locations of activism characteristic of 21st-century Latin America. The contributors show that most contemporary political activism in the region relies upon both confrontational collective action and civic participation at different moments. Operating within fluid, dynamic and heterogeneous fields of contestation, activists have not been contained by governments or conventional political categories, but rather have overflowed their boundaries, opening new democratic spaces or extending existing ones in the process. The essays offer fresh insight into how the politics of activism, participation and protest are manifest in Latin America today while providing a new conceptual language and an interpretive framework for examining issues that are critical for the future of the region and beyond.
Contributors to the book include Kiran Asher of women, gender, sexuality studies. The other co-editors of the book are Jeffrey W. Rubin of Boston University and Gianpaolo Baiocchi of New York University.