Citizenship and Social Movements: Perspectives from the Global South (BOK)
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Past debates over social movements have suffered from a predominate focus on Anglo-America and Europe, often neglecting the significance of collective actions of citizens in the Global South. This book seeks to partially redress this imbalance with case study material from movements for change in Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. In these examples, social movements have coalesced without the benefits of the structural or institutional resource base found in the North, and have persevered even where the state does not have the resources to effectively respond to collective demands. Yet neither are these movements driven by purely altruistic motivations. The analysis points to the complexity of relationships that influence mobilization and social movements in the south, suggesting that previous theories have underplayed the influence of state power and of elite dominance in the government and in non-governmental organizations. All this unsettles the notion that social activism leads inexorably to democracy and development. So what motivates collective action and what does it achieve? The answer depends on the political and historical context, and the legacy of mobilization, though in all contexts the examples clearly show that understanding the role of the state in relation to these movements is critical to determining when collective action can fulfil the promise of bringing the rights of the marginalized to the fore.