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Up-dating Its Strategies and Amplifying Its Frames: The Landless Rural Workers' Movement in Brazil and the Displacement of the Struggle for Land

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The present article examines the possible loss of prominence of land occupations as a strategy of struggle within the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra's (Landless Rural Workers' Movement or MST) repertoires of contention. I argue that this possible decline began during Cardoso's government and that the movement is in the process of institutionalizing other strategies of struggle, which have yet to prove as effective as land occupations. Some legal amendments during Cardoso's administration undermined the effectiveness and even the usefulness of land occupations. The MST has nevertheless updated its frames and its strategies of struggle, and reinforced its role as a national and global social movement. Findings in the present article are supported by several interviews collected during field research, academic and newspaper articles, and general sources about the matter.

Affiliations: 1: The School of Law, The University of Manchester;, Email:


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