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Staat-Sociale Bewegingen relaties in de Andes regio


This course can be done for 5 or 10 ects. If you want to take the course for 10 ECTS please consult with the teacher and register with prospectus number: 5654KLA11.

Admission requirements

This course is open to Master students (particularly those following the International Studies programme) with interest in Latin America.


In the last decadades the Latin American region has seen the proliferation and empowerment of social movements, raging from the Zapatista Movement in Mexico in 1994 to the more recent social protests in Brazil and the Student Movement in Chile. A diversity of social movements have come to the forefront of social protest at the local, national and supranational level, with real incidence in the political arena. Contrary to early conceptualizations of ‘new’ social movements, the Latin American experiences show a clear political role of these actors. This points to the important relation with State as the focal point of their struggle, as social movements have been key actors in the rise and fall of national governments.
The course first introduces the main scholarly debates on Latin American Social Movements. Then, with a focus on the Andean region, it takes a ‘dialectical’ understanding of State-Society relations to analyse in a series of case studies, the key tensions that characterise the interaction between the State and Social Movements. The issues taken under consideration are:

  • Autonomy vs. co-optation

  • Social protest (non-instituitional) vs. political (institutional) participation

  • Representative democracy vs. participative democracy (political representation and participation)

  • Identity politics vs. universal citizenship (inclusion and exclusion)
    The course is closed with the writing of an individual paper, in which one of the issues is analysed in a case study of choice.

Course objectives

  • To insert students in the main academic debates regarding Latin American social movements.

  • To create insight in the ‘dialectical’ dynamic that typifies the relation between State and Social Movements.

  • To have an understanding of the key tensions that characterize the interaction between State and Social Movements.

  • To be able to apply the knowledge gained in a case study.



Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 24 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 42 hours

  • Time for preparing assignments: 34 hours

  • Time to write a paper (including reading/research): 38 hours

Assessment method

Presentation (30%)
A 10 minute presentation on the subjecto of the individual paper during the lectures

Paper (70%)
A paper of approximately 7 500 words, written under supervision, on a case study of choice.

There is no resit for the presenation. It’s only possible to resit the final paper provided that the final grade is a 5 or lower.


The course will make use of Blackboard for the posting of importan information as the course programme, as well as other relevant material (documentes, bibliographic references, etc.).

Reading list

Staheler-Sholk, Richard et al. (2008) Latin American Social Movements in the twenty-first century: resistance, power and democracy. Rowman&Littlefield Publishers.

Johnston, Hank & Almeida, Paul et al. (2006) Latin American Social Movements. Globalization, Democratization, and Transnational Networks. Rowman&Littlefield Publishers.

Van Cott, Donna Lee (2008) Radical Democracy in the Andes. Cambridge University Press.

The definitive literature list (including book chapters, academic articles and other material) will be available through Blackboard.




S. Valdivia Rivera
071 527 2061


The course can be extended to 10 ects. Please consult with the teacher for this possibility.

Presence during lectures is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of three sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments to the student.