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Collective action has become since the 1980s the main tool for the defense of interests, and for the raising of demands of social and political actors in Venezuela. Of the diverse forms of this kind of action, the ones of contentious nature—or noninstitutional—have been the most visible, and have played a key role in the deep political transformations that have taken place. This chapter explores, as in a duel verse or counterpoint (contapunteo), the way civic and contentious actions have confronted or complemented one another in the Venezuelan sociopolitical arena since the mid-1980s and into Chávez’s second administration, and the contribution of this relation to the political outcome of these years. We support our analysis with empirical data, and we propose a three-stage periodization according to the characteristics of this relation.

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