Social Movements, Autonomy and the State in Latin America

  • Eric Sippert University of Massachusetts Amherst
Keywords: CONAIE, Latin America, MAS, MST, social movements, Zapatistas


Social movements have become an important part of the political realm in Latin America, overthrowing and installing leaders as well as challenging capitalism and the state itself. This study attempts to classify social movements into four different categories by the amount of autonomy they exercise from the state and then look at the effectiveness of each of these different groups. Through examining different strategies and outcomes from social movements in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico, I attempt to ascertain which degree of autonomy is most effective. This study finds that while the weakened state has made autonomous movements more effective, engaging the state can still be beneficial for social movements with achieving their objectives.

Author Biography

Eric Sippert, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Eric Sippert, 22, is a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science. In 2014, he received his Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs at Eastern Michigan University. His interests include social movements, contentious politics, Latin America, globalization, and political theory.

How to Cite
Sippert, E. (2014). Social Movements, Autonomy and the State in Latin America. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 24, 165-195.