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Linking Civil Society and the State

With the role of local government becoming more important as Latin American countries moved away from state-led development models in the 1980s, and with social movements helping to bring about the transition to democracy, questions arose about whether and how popular participation at the local level might be able to contribute to the consolidation of democracy from the grassroots upward. This book, based on extensive research in low-income districts of Lima, provides a sophisticated analysis of the relationship between a resurgent civil society and democratization. Exploring the complex interactions among urban popular movements, local government, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Schoenwalder shows that the democratic potential of these movements is genuine but that their influence has been limited. His balanced assessment credits their achievements while illuminating the sources of their failures, mainly a variety of institutional barriers and a persistent threat of manipulation and co-optation by stronger actors, especially political parties. His analysis helps us understand better why the left has so often failed to convert its considerable support at the grassroots into political successes at higher levels.
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Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations and Frequently Used Acronyms Introduction PART ONE I. Urban Popular Movements in Latin America: Identity, Strategy, and Autonomy 2. Decentralization and the Participation of Urban Popular Movements in Local Government PART TWO 3. Urban Popular Movements, Political Parties, and the State in Peru 4. The Peruvian Left and Local Government in the Early 1980s 5. The Barrantes Administration of Metropolitan Lima, 1984-1986 6. Revolutionary and Radical-Democratic Approaches in Conflict Conclusions and Epilogue Appendix: List of Interviews Glossary of Frequently Used Spanish Terms References Index

About the Author

Gerd Sch�nw�lder is Senior Program Specialist for the Peacebuilding and Reconstruction Program Initiative at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada.


"Gerd Schonwalder provides a penetrating analysis of the relationships among urban popular movements, political parties, local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the electoral Left in Peru from about 1980 to 1992.... Ample references, an extensive list of interviews, and complete footnotes not only aid readers in verifying the assertions and conclusions of the work, but they also demonstrate Schonwalder's mastery of his material. Readers quickly warm to the subject, because Schonwalder obviously enjoys it and the Peruvian people.... This is a finely polished gem. It best exemplifies how to research and write this genre of analysis. It is an essential component for understanding the dynamics of modern Peruvian society." -Sheldon Avenius, Perspectives on Political Science; "This book provides a rare bottom-up perspective on Peruvian democracy during the crisis-ridden 1980s, and it makes a major contribution to scholarly understanding of the prospects for-and the limits to-grassroots democracy in contemporary Latin America." -Kenneth Roberts, University of New Mexico; "This book tests a variety of theoretical propositions concerning the complex and even contradictory interactions among urban popular movements, local-level authorities, the electoral left, and NGOs-a laudable, long overdue, and ambitious task." -Henry Dietz, University of Texas"

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