Jackson School Journal
of International Studies

Posts Tagged ‘South America’

Volume 4 Number 1 – Spring 2013

Sara Alstrom

Old War, Nuanced Soldiers

‘Generational Borderlands’ in the Chilean University Movement

The infamous dictator Augusto Pinochet came to power through a bloody coup on September 11, 1973, and drastically changed the face of the Chilean government. His regime instituted strict policies of neoliberalism that led to the privatization of the university system. Forty years after the coup, many of these policies remain in place, untouched and accepted as the reasons behind Chile’s ‘economic miracle’ of South America. However, tensions resulting from these neoliberal policies, specifically in the University system, fomented a recent eruption of political activism in May of 2011. Why is it that Chile, one of the most economically ‘successful’ countries in South America and the ‘pride’ of the IMF and World Bank models, is seeing the rise of a powerful student movement against neoliberal legacies? My research juxtaposes the master narrative of Chile as a ‘model country’, in terms of hegemonic modernity, against the experiences of the Chilean university students who have fought to challenge it. I argue that the catalyst behind the student movement can be in part explained by the legacies of Pinochet’s repression and the political struggles of past generations. This contradictory temporal space forms a ‘generational borderland’. These generational ruptures, combined with the legacies of repression, have led to the emergence of new forms of innovative and marketable protest, cultivated longevity for the movement through the mistrust of politicians, and inspired a reinvigoration of the Communist Party of Chile.

Volume 3 Number 2 – Autumn 2012

Christine Woodward

Viva a Revolução

Politics, Culture and the Fora PM Movement

Ocupa Sampa, the São Paulo branch of the Occupy movement, has received
a warm reception from the Brazilian media. At the same time, Fora PM, a student
movement out to end the Universidade de São Paulo’s relationship with the Military Police, has not. Why then, since Fora PM’s grievances appear to be legitimate, has the Fora PM movement failed to control its image in the press while Ocupa Sampa has succeeded? In this paper, I use the work of social movement scholars Doug McAdam; Sonia Alvarez, Evelina Dagnino, and Arturo Escobar; and Marshall Ganz to uncover the mechanisms underlying the failures of the Fora PM. I argue that the members of Fora PM are constantly delegitimized by the cultural associations mapped onto university students in Brazilian society, resulting in a negative reception from Brazil’s media. Furthermore, Fora PM lacks the local network of resources necessary to challenge the cultural politics arrayed against the movement. Ultimately, I contend that Fora PM still exists only because its members engage in the psychological process of cognitive self-deception.