Cover image for Linking Civil Society and the State: Urban Popular Movements, the Left, and Local Government in Peru, 1980–1992 By Gerd Schönwälder

Linking Civil Society and the State

Urban Popular Movements, the Left, and Local Government in Peru, 1980–1992

Gerd Schönwälder

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$41.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-02534-6

256 pages
6" × 9"
2004

Linking Civil Society and the State

Urban Popular Movements, the Left, and Local Government in Peru, 1980–1992

Gerd Schönwälder

“Gerd Schönwälder provides a penetrating analysis of the relationships among urban popular movements, political parties, local governments, non-governmental organizations and the electoral Left in Peru from about 1980 to 1992. He tests a variety of theories concerning the complex, even contradictory, interactions among these groups, deftly leading readers through a theoretical framework and then juxtaposing reality against it. . . . 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 Schönwälder's mastery of his material. Readers quickly warm to the subject, because Schönwälder 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.”

 

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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), Schönwälder 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.

“Gerd Schönwälder provides a penetrating analysis of the relationships among urban popular movements, political parties, local governments, non-governmental organizations and the electoral Left in Peru from about 1980 to 1992. He tests a variety of theories concerning the complex, even contradictory, interactions among these groups, deftly leading readers through a theoretical framework and then juxtaposing reality against it. . . . 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 Schönwälder's mastery of his material. Readers quickly warm to the subject, because Schönwälder 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.”
“It is meticulously documented and empirically rich, well written and sophisticated in its argument. It contributes very worthwhile, balanced findings to the understanding of the concrete adventures of urban social movements in Latin America and elsewhere.”
“Overall, Linking Civil Society and the State provides us with a well-articulated road map for studying popular participation at the local level. The ways in which democracy can become an effective mechanism for exercising political influence remain an ongoing task for future scholars, who can build on Schönwälder's empirical contributions.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Gerd Schönwälder provides a valuable case study that can be read against the assertions of Latino Metropolis for class-oriented alliances. . . . Linking Civil Society and the State offers a refreshingly circumspect assessment of urban popular movement achievements, certainly when compared to some of the headier 1980s claims that movements could support ever-deeper social and political change.”

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

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

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