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Conclusions Social Movements, Indigenous Politics And Democratisation In Guatemala, 1985–1996

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Chapter Summary

The context in which social movements emerge, the nature of a movement?s leadership and actors? strategic choices are key interrelated factors that shape an organisation?s structure, the ways in which mobilization takes places and its subsequent successes and failures. Both CONIC and Defensoría Maya developed out of pre-existing movements, suggesting that the actors? prior experience of mobilisation contributed to their capacity to anticipate problems of over-centralisation. CERJ employed an indigenous rights framework due to the policy vacuum that resulted from its limited capacity to command funding once its demands were effectively achieved. During democratization social movements tended to essentialise Mayan culture. The pattern of social mobilisation in Guatemala suggests, as scholars have observed of social movements in Latin America and beyond, that during the cycle of protest civil society was both the ?terrain? and the ?target? of collective action.

Keywords: CERJ; civil society; CONIC; Defensoría Maya; democratization; Guatemala; indigenous rights; Latin America; social mobilisation; social movements



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