In existence since 1984, Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement- the MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra)- is Latin America's largest social movement. With 1.5 million members engaged in the struggle for agrarian reform against powerful national and international interests, it has exerted a huge impact on Brazilian politics for nearly 30 years. Along with the Zapatista movement of Mexico, it is one of the key partners in the World Social Forum alliance, and more widely, a 'global left' that is opposed to neoliberal economic policies and conservative interests. With contributors from Brazil, Europe and North America, coming from fields such as political activism, the leadership of the movement itself, journalism, and academia, this book retains ethnography at its core, while connecting lived experiences to wider political questions pertaining to global social movement struggles. These include macro approaches, which focus on the ideology behind such social movements, to ethnographic research, which focuses on the daily struggles that lie behind the politicised rhetoric. The rationale of this volume is to put these perspectives into dialogue, going beyond the top-down/bottom up disjuncture so commonly found in works pertaining to this field and to therefore further research in social movement studies by demonstrating the importance of such a dialogue. Through opening up new spaces in the debates surrounding popular activism, the editors are able to put aside the polemics to focus on what it means to take part in such struggles on the level of daily reality.
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