HomeMilitantism and Re-Compositions in Latin America

Militantism and Re-Compositions in Latin America

Militantisme et reconversions en Amérique latine

Militantismo y reconversiones en América Latina

Re-composition of Militantism, Militant Trajectories and Constructions of Political Elites

Recompositions du militantisme, trajectoires militantes et construction des élites politiques

Recomposiciones del militantismo, trayectorias militantes y construcción de élites políticas

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Published on Tuesday, April 05, 2016 by João Fernandes

Summary

This dossier aims to reflect equally on two issues central to the political reconfiguration of formerly militant activism in the most recent period of Latin American history. The first concerns the phenomena of political transformation of former militants and the networks and routes used by former militant actors to politically transform themselves. Many of these have been structured around the strategic positioning of radical political commitments, in addition to the development and integration of new generations of activists into partisan life. The notion of re-composition (translated from the French reconversion) seems appropriate in order to elaborate specifically the political landscape of formal and state connections in different cultural contexts of militantism. The second issue concerns the reconfiguration of militancy in societies that have undergone neoliberal reforms imposed in the last decades of the past century and the development of new approaches to the resistance to the neoliberal state.

Announcement

Contextualization

As privileged theater of insurgencies in the years of the Cold War, laboratory of neoliberal policies in the 1990s and witness in the 2000s to the rise of a new left that oscillated between mobilization of past patterns of action and renewal, throughout the last decades Latin America has experienced major political and social transformations. Those were accompanied by militant movements, which themselves underwent the dual phenomena of recomposition (within which militantism adapted itself to new conditions of political adhesion) and transformation (in which political and public commitment and radically changed characteristics) as they faced new forms of external intervention and new relationships with the state under new regimes of power. The activism of the last twenty years in the region is a far cry from the militancy of the 1970s. Many former militants are now close to governments in power, while a few here and there appear to be justifiably considered “new” social movements. The study of these phenomena is particularly fruitful, from historical, sociological and theoretical points of view, specifically from the vantage point of understanding how the transformation of former militants has resulted in some members’ ascensions to the ruling elite. This thematic ties into well-developed discussions within social science research regarding political participation in Latin America — such as studies of political parties (Alcántara Sáez- Freidenberg, 2001), mobilizations and simulations of political identities (Martuccelli- Svampa, 1997), and relations between hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourses and their relationships with democratic institutions (Laclau, 2005; Panizza, 2009; Taguieff, 2002).

Issues and arguments of the dossier

The problem, as it crosses several socio-geographic realities, goes beyond the simple case of Latin America to interact (directly or indirectly) with transnational currents (Pommerolle- Siméant, 2008; Collovald 2002; Dezalay- Garth, 2002; Stites Mor, 2013; Brown, 2012; Dard, 2012). This dossier aims to reflect equally on two issues central to the political reconfiguration of formerly militant activism in the most recent period of Latin American history. The first concerns the phenomena of political transformation of former militants and the networks and routes used by former militant actors to politically transform themselves. Many of these have been structured around the strategic positioning of radical political commitments (Cucchetti, 2013, Stites Mor, 2014), in addition to the development and integration of new generations of activists into partisan life. The notion of re-composition (translated from the French reconversion) (Gaubert- Lechien- Tissot, 2005) seems appropriate in order to elaborate specifically the political landscape of formal and state connections in different cultural contexts of militantism. The second issue concerns the reconfiguration of militancy in societies that have undergone neoliberal reforms imposed in the last decades of the past century and the development of new approaches to the resistance to the neoliberal state.

As individual activists move between volunteer activity and / or voluntary political association (in political parties, local community associations, various types of social movements, organizations 'activists') to professional political activity, they inherently must move through a process of adaptation that often involves retraining (even in continuity) both in terms of new competencies and within new spaces of engagement, as well as new modes of both formal and informal interactions with the state and institutional policy. Empirical analysis of these conversions captures more nuanced and profound changes regarding the place of activism in Latin American societies in recent decades.

Similarly, the recomposition of the Latin American “left” has opened new spaces for transformative political experiences (Battalion Prévôt-Schapira, 2009; Goirand, 2005; Alcántara Sáez, 2008; Stoessel, 2014) as well as the development of "new" social movements (Estrada Saavedra, 2011; Svampa 2007 and 2009; Wickham-Crowley- Eckstein, 2010). These moves cross the political spectrum and also reflect the partisan reorganization of actors from various political and social groups, both right and left. What are the "new" - if they are actually new - forms of activism available within these spaces? Tracing the trajectories of individual and collective actors involved in these movements captures the integration of new generations of activists and policy frameworks, while simultaneously illuminating the new modes of protest and mobilization spaces in partisan and state life (Labrousse 2009; Lefranc, 2009; Castro-Rocha, 2009; Combes, 2012; Moallic, 2010).

Methodologically, the dossier emphasizes the study of trajectories and militant careers (Agrikoliansky 2001; Fillieule, 2001, Cucchetti, 2014). In theoretical terms, this dossier also aims to open up the analysis of the conversions and transformations activists as moral considerations (e.g., conversion as "treason", a concept criticized by Matonti, 2005). It also aims to correct the evolutionary approach to patterns of transformation (the end of the militancy or the politicization of contemporary societies) and the reductionist analysis that see the militant membership a phenomenon reserved for purely ideological orientations. These considerations highlight the importance of mobilization and redeployment from other political-ideological backgrounds (conservative, military, organizational, etc.). The dynamic aspect of the Latin American political life, characterized by desectorization and competitive mobilizations also call into question the differentiation of political spaces (Dobry, 1986; Lagroye, 2003), allowing for further analysis of the relationship between activism and the construction of political elites.

Four structural axes

  • Militant organizations in a socio-historical perspective. Relations between militant organizations and state and / or political parties. Individual and collective terms activists integration within partisan and state elites. The route followed by the former activist sectors that supported the production of leaders in recent decades. Partisan conversions of rights and lefts.
  • Continuities and ruptures in the politicization of models and partisanisation. Changes in terms of membership among members of the younger generations in recent years. Construction of new recruitment channels of political and state officials.
  • Activism of social movements and activism of political parties converging in dynamic, competitive and intersectional spaces. Circulation between nonpartisan spaces, politicization and training frameworks: political enclaves and production of ruling classes The relationship between informal activities and formal policy, gateways for recruiting new leaders.
  • Reflections and analyzes on a regional or transnational level. Patterns or networks of transformation of militancy and the relationship to the constitution of social movements and political organizations. A problematic approach from the comparative analysis of different empirical cases. 

Framing of articles

At the disciplinary level: history, political science, sociology, anthropology or interdisciplinary

At the methodological level: Open to all proposals, the dossier encourages analyses combining empirical research, socio-historical contextualization and theoretical approaches. Studies of activists and/or organizational trajectories are also welcome. Proposals may involve national, regional or transnational studies.

Edition of the special report

Article abstracts will be accepted in French, Spanish, Portuguese or English and should not exceed 4500 characters (including spaces). Please include the following:

- Title;

- Research question;

- Theoretical framework;

- Disciplinary (or inter-disciplinary) positioning;

- Findings;

- Bibliographic notes (not included in character count).

Timeline

  • Abstracts of proposed articles are to be submitted before May 6th, 2016 at the following address: tiermond@univ-paris1.fr
  • Notifications of coordinators and the Editorial Board for authors preselected will be sent June 6th, 2016;
  • Early versions of the articles are to be sent by the authors before August 29th, 2016 at the following address: tiermond@univ-paris1.fr 

Editors 

  • Humberto Cucchetti (CEIL-CONICET- Argentina) 
  • Jessica Stites Mor (University of British Columbia - Canada)

References

  • Agrikoliansky Éric (2001), « Carrières militantes et vocation à la morale : les militants de la LDH dans les années 1980 », Revue française de science politique, n° 51, p. 27- 46.
  • Alcántara Sáez Manuel (2008), « La escalada de la izquierda. La ubicación ideológica de presidentes y partidos de izquierda en América latina », Nueva Sociedad, n° 217, p. 72- 85.
  • Alcántara Sáez Manuel- Freidenberg Flavia –éds- (2001), Partidos políticos de América latina. Cono sur, Salamanca, Universidad de Salamanca.
  • Bataillon Gilles, Prévôt- Schapira Marie-France (2009), « Les gauches-latino-américaines », Problèmes d’Amérique latine, n° 71, p. 6- 10.
  • Brun Elodie (2012), « Les gauches latino-américaines et les relations sud-sud », in Olivier Dabène, La gauche en Amérique latine, 1998- 2012, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, p. 425- 452.
  • Collovald Annie –éd- (2002), L’humanitaire ou le management des dévouements. Enquête sur un militantisme de « solidarité internationale » en faveur du Tiers-Monde, Rennes, PUR.
  • Combes Hélène (2012), « Quand la gauche gouverne… sans gouverner. L’expérience du « gouvernement légitime », in Olivier Dabène, La gauche en Amérique latine, 1998- 2012, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, p. 75- 105.
  • Cucchetti Humberto (2013), Servir Perón. Trajectoires de la Garde de Fer, Rennes, PUR.
  • Cucchetti Humberto (2014), « Les « causes nationalistes ». Retour sur l’adhésion militante à partir de récits biographiques », Critique internationale. Revue comparative de sciences sociales, n° 65, p. 149- 169.
  • Dard Olivier –éd- (2012), Doctrinaire, vulgarisateurs et passeurs des droites radicales au XXè siècle (Europe- Amériques), Berne, Peter Lang.
  • De Castro Rocha Daniella (2009), « Jeunes du Parti des travailleurs et crise du militantisme », Agora. Débats/ Jeunesses, n° 52, p. 89- 104.
  • Dezalay Yves, Garth Bryant (2002), La mondialisation des guerres de palais. La restructuration du pouvoir d’État en Amérique Latine, entre notables du droit et « Chicago Boys », Paris, Seuil.
  • Dobry Michel (1986), Sociologie des crises politiques, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2009.
  • Estrada Saavedra Marco Antonio (2011), « Les mouvements sociaux en Amérique latine : par-delà l’opposition de l’acteur et du système », Problèmes d’Amérique latine, n°81, p. 5- 10.
  • Fillieule Olivier (2001), « Propositions pour une analyse processuelle de l’engagement individuel », Revue française de science politique, n° 51, 2001, p. 199- 215.
  • Gaubert Christophe, Lechien Marie-Hélène, Tissot Sylvie (2005), Reconversions militantes, Limoges.
  • Goirand Camille (2005), « Les gauches en Amérique latine : avant-propos », Revue internationale de Politique comparée, vol. 12, 3, p. 267- 282.
  • Labrousse Alain (2009), « Les Tupamaros : de la lutte armée à la voie électoral (1964- 2009), Problèmes d’Amérique latine, n° 74, p. 17- 36.
  • Laclau Ernesto (2005), La razón populista, Buenos Aires, FCE.
  • Lagroye Jacques –éd- (2003), La politisation, Paris, Belin.
  • Lefranc Sandrine (2009), « La professionnalisation d’un militantisme réformateur du droit : l’invention de la justice transitionnelle », Droit et Société, n° 73, p. 561- 589.
  • Martuccelli Danilo- Svampa Maristella (1997), La plaza vacía. Las transformaciones del peronismo, Buenos Aires, Losada.
  • Matonti Frédérique (2005), « Crises politiques et reconversions : mai 68 », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, n° 158, p. 4- 7.
  • Moallic Benjamin (2010), « Victoire des anciens révolutionnaires ou ascension d’un nouveau personnel politique ? Les réaménagements de l’espace politique salvadorien après les élections de 2009 », Problèmes d’Amérique latine, n° 78, p. 111- 129.
  • Panizza Francisco –éd- (2009), El populismo como espejo de la democracia, Buenos Aires, FCE.
  • Pommerolle Marie-Emmanuelle, Siméant Johanna (2008), « Voix africaines au Forum social mondial de Nairobi. Les chemins transnationaux des militantismes africains », Cultures et conflit, n° 70, p. 129- 149.
  • Stites Mor Jessica –éd- (2013), Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Stites Mor Jessica (2014), « Between Resistance and Repression : New Writing on Argentine Political Radicalism, 1955- 1976 », EIAL, n° 25, p. 85- 102.
  • Stoessel Soledad (2014), « Giro a la izquierda en la América latina del siglo XX. Revisitando los debates académicos », Polis. Revista latinoamericana, n° 39, http://polis.revues.org/10453.
  • Svampa Maristella (2007), « Les frontières du gouvernement Kirchner entre aspiration au renouveau et consolidation de l’ancien », Revue Tiers-monde, n° 189, p. 113- 134.
  • Svampa Maristella (2009), « Mouvements sociaux, matrices sociopolitiques et nouveaux contextes en Amérique latine », Problèmes d’Amérique latine, n° 74, p. 113- 136.
  • Taguieff Pierre-André (2002), L’illusion populiste. Essai sur les démagogies de l’âge démocratique, Paris, Champs-Flammarion, 2007.
  • Wickham-Crowley Timothy, Eckstein Susan (2010), « Economie et sociologie politiques du militantisme et des répertoires des mouvements sociaux récents en Amérique latine », Revue internationale de Politique comparée, vol. 17, 2,p. 29- 52.

Places

  • Revue Tiers Monde, IEDES, Campus du Jardin d'agronomie tropicale - 45 bis, avenue de la Belle-Gabrielle
    Nogent-sur-Marne, France (94736)

Date(s)

  • Friday, May 06, 2016

Keywords

  • militantisme, reconversion, Amérique latin, parcour politique

Contact(s)

  • Emmanuel Jouai
    courriel : e [dot] jouai [at] my [dot] westminster [dot] ac [dot] uk

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Emmanuel Jouai
    courriel : e [dot] jouai [at] my [dot] westminster [dot] ac [dot] uk

To cite this announcement

« Militantism and Re-Compositions in Latin America », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, April 05, 2016, https://calenda.org/363325

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