Introduction: Interrogating the Civil Society Agenda, Reassessing Uncivic Political Activism
Sonia E. Alvarez, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Agustín Laó-Montes, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Millie Thayer, 2017. "Introduction: Interrogating the Civil Society Agenda, Reassessing Uncivic Political Activism", Beyond Civil Society: Activism, Participation, and Protest in Latin America, Sonia E. Alvarez, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Millie Thayer, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Agustín Laó-Montes
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This essay introduces the anthology and lays out the framework for the rest of the book. The collection explores the two faces of cultural-political struggles evident throughout Latin America today: the increased visibility of confrontational collective action, often represented as “uncivic,” on the one hand, and the proliferation of civic participation through the so-called Third Sector and governmental programs. One of the core goals of the project has been to question this reigning binary calling on, instead, another set of categories, lo permitido and lo no permitido—the permissible, authorized, tolerated forms of activism, and participation and their “other”: the prohibited, unauthorized, intolerable. The chapter explores the history of these formations in Latin America and their implications, with an effort to engage their ambiguities and colonial origins. It advances a framework that is attentive to the imbrication of different forms of activism, their political effects, their transnational links, and attempts by activists to perform beyond the binary.