New Political Movements, Governance and the Breakdown of Traditional Politics in Latin America

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This article argues that traditional governance in Latin America is in crisis. Globalization and IMF-advocated neoliberal economic policy have left the masses behind, despite the growth of democracy. Traditional governing structures often cannot respond to popular needs, and they are being challenged by a series of new, highly politicized social movements like the indigenous and peasant movements in Bolivia, popular assemblies in Argentina, and the Landless Movement in Brazil. In the process, new forms of popular mobilization and participatory decision making are challenging entrenched authoritarian attitudes and practices and making way for new political-bureaucratic structures and a new political culture.