The Participatory Effectiveness of Land-Related Movements in Brazil, Ecuador, and Chile: 1990-2004

Doctoral Dissertation


The give-and-take between peasant and indigenous grassroots movements, authorities, and political elites has occurred intensely in several countries of the region in the past two decades, particularly in Ecuador, Brazil, and Chile. Although successive governments in these countries have redistributed substantial amounts of land in the past two decades, we have little certainty about the direct overall impact that these grassroots organizations’ mobilization and political strategies have had on land policy since the early 1990s. The complex array of factors at play in establishing a balance between these two poles of action (politics and mobilization) is indeed one of the most difficult challenges confronting democratic politics throughout Latin America. Utilizing data derived from newspaper reports of protest events and interviews with movement leaders, government officials, and politicians this research explores the following argument: the policy influence of social movements is a consequence of movements’ ability to sustain mobilization in face of the negotiations it engages in with political actors. The realization of the need to engage in a double-pronged approach (mobilization and politics) reflects a substantial distancing from the historical tendency for grassroots movements to adopt an either reform or revolution approach. The efforts of movement leaders to maintain their capacity to mobilize at the grassroots without excessive interference from government or political parties is imperative to its ability to obtain long term policy concessions. The intensity of mobilization tactics, particularly the level of violence and disruption espoused in activism, is the main factor that influences political elites to respond with accommodation or opposition.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04172009-112246

Author Patricia Marcela Rodriguez
Advisor Michael Coppedge
Contributor Frances Hagopian, Committee Member
Contributor Michael Coppedge, Committee Chair
Contributor Scott Mainwaring, Committee Member
Contributor Rory McVeigh, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Political Science
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2009-03-30

Submission Date 2009-04-17
  • United States of America

  • indigenous rights

  • latin america

  • land redistribution

  • social movements

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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