Cultures of Politics/Politics of Cultures: Re-Visioning Latin American Social Movements

By Sonia E. Alvarez; Evelina Dagnino et al. | Go to book overview
youth cultures tend to work within the "practices of everyday life" framework laid out by Michel de Certeau ( 1984). See, for example, Vianna 1988, Franco 1993, and Yédice 1994. Other more Marxist approaches that deal sympathetically with youth cultures are Valenzuela Arce 1988, 1993.
4
Victor Bulmer-Thomas summarizes these contradictions of the new economic model thus: "Privatisation leads to rising unemployment, but labour market reform may not be sufficient to absorb surplus labour. Export promotion requires a depreciation of the real effective exchange rate, but inflation stabilisation may require the opposite. Technological modernisation requires access to capital, but the reform of domestic capital markets may make the needed investments more expensive. Fiscal reform requires increases in revenue, but tariff reductions and the elimination of employment taxes lead to a fall" ( BulmerThomas 1996,12).
5
The recently instituted process of certification of NGOs under the Ley de Fornento a las Activities de Bienestar y Desarrollo Social in Oaxaca is an example of government control. The junta established by this law has the authority to create, modify, and eliminate NGOs, which must even pay fees for the maintenance of the junta (Montesinos 1996). It is obvious, then, that civil society does not function in practice as a "Third Sector" independent of government and productive enterprises, as the recently formed Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) would have it (Directorio de Instituciones Filantrópicas 1995, ix), but rather as the handmaiden of both.
6
During visits to Mexico in 1992 and 1993, I saw many television and print commercials that advised citizens to meet the challenge of economic adulthood (NAFTA) with social maturity. The commercials urged viewers to keep the streets dean, get to work on time, and so on.
7
Transnational brokering is even more complicated, as Daniel Mato points out in his study on the phenomenon. Not only are there the foreign and national metropolitan agents (such as banks, the UN, and government institutions) on the one hand and local and social movement agents as well as the target community on the other, but there is also an entire spectrum of intermediary organizations, particularly NGOs. All of these agents constitute "complexes of brokering" that must negotiate a plethora of competing agendas ( 1995b, 8). Even among NGOs there is great diversity, starting with the difference between INGOs (international nongovernmental organizations) and NGOs. For example, "[u] nlike the INGOs, many of the Latin American human rights organizations have close ties to political parties," including commissions created by governments, which adds another dimension: the degree to which these organizations are independent of the governments that created them (Torres and Toro 1992, 20-21).
8
"Governmentality" should not be confused with "governability." The latter term is of utmost concern to conservatives and all those who see social change in the direction of democratization as a form of chaos. This is exactly the way in which Ronfeldt ( 1995) assessed the activities of civil society organizations, or what he called the network society.

References

Baran, Paul. 1958. "On the Political Economy of Backwardness." In The Economics of Underdevelopment, ed. A. N. Agarwala and S. R. Singh, 75-91. Bombay: Oxford University Press.

Barkin, David. 1995. "The Spectre of Rural Development." On-line posting. Available from ≪http://www.igc.apc.org/nacla/devel/dbarkin.html≫.

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