Organizing Dissent: Unions, the State, and the Democratic Teachers' Movement in Mexico

Organizing Dissent: Unions, the State, and the Democratic Teachers' Movement in Mexico

Organizing Dissent: Unions, the State, and the Democratic Teachers' Movement in Mexico

Organizing Dissent: Unions, the State, and the Democratic Teachers' Movement in Mexico

Synopsis

Organizing Dissent examines the democratic movement that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s within Mexico's National Union of Education Workers, the largest union in Latin America. The size, perseverance, and success the movement stood out in a country whose governing regime was renowned for its ability to co-opt, control, and repress dissent.

Maria Lorena Cook analyzes the development of the teachers' movement from its origins in the 1970s through the economic crisis 0f the 1980s and into the early 1990s under the Salinas administration. She explores the evolving relationship among the union leadership, the state, and rank-and-file teachers, looks closely at organization dynamics and competing strategies within the movement, and compares the successes and failures of six regional contingents of the teachers' movement located in southern and central Mexico.

Excerpt

This book is about how popular social movements emerge and survive in authoritarian regimes and what their presence means for political and social change. The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of social movements (urban neighborhood organizations, independent peasant and labor movements, environmental, women's, and human rights organizations) under authoritarian governments throughout Latin America. In 1989 the world watched in surprise as popular mobilizations in Eastern Europe helped topple one communist regime after another. The presence and apparent strength of social movements in authoritarian contexts challenged social science research, which had largely focused on the range of movements that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States or on the "postmaterialist" appearance of social movements in Western Europe -- that is, on movements in advanced industrial democracies. What was missing was an explanation for why and how movements emerged in poorer countries with authoritarian governments, and an understanding of how this . . .

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