Introduction to Latin America provides a completely new introduction to the political, social and economic forces shaping this essential region of undergraduate study today. It is the first textbook to place Latin America within a genuinely global context and introduce the debates and impact of globalization, neoliberalism, democratization, and the environment.

New Social Actors
New social actors

Over the final decades of the twentieth century, Latin America saw the emergence of a vibrant civil society as new collective actors such as shanty town organizations, human rights movements, Christian base communities and various forms of self-help groups made their presence felt in the social and political life of their countries. Usually referred to as ‘social movements’, these groups were seen by analysts as embodying a new form of politics, not concerned with taking political power but rather with democratizing society, claiming rights and pressing demands on the state. Though highly diverse in the forms they took, difficult to quantify and define, and with a presence in public life that could at times be strong and combative and at ...

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