This panel seeks to explore the role of social movements in Latin American politics and society. A broad range of topics on the mobilisation of movements in the region are welcomed in order to provide an extensive overview of the state of Latin American civil society today.
Social movements have been integral in political and societal advancements across the region. Today's Latin American social movements have their historical roots in the movements which vehemently fought military dictatorships for democratisation and justice throughout the 1970s. Movements in the region are also renowned for their response to the failure of neoliberalism in the latter half of the 20th Century and beyond. Arguably, Europe has much to learn from the Latin American experience in this regard and the panel welcomes research which may stimulate further discussion on this subject. At the forefront of social protest, Latin American social movements have surmounted great obstacles to achieve advancements in a variety of issues. From women's movements in Central America, to indigenous movements of the Andes and the landless and movements in the Southern Cone, civil society actors are diverse in their causes but united in the indubitable role they play in tackling grievances across the region. In more recent times these actors are confronting international challenges such as climate change, food sovereignty and resource governance. In many of these cases civil society actors have taken a State-like role by being leaders in policy innovation and democratic governance. This panel invites research which will contribute to an in-depth and nuanced discussion on the role played by civil society, and social movements in Latin America today. Finally, in light of the research presented, participants are encouraged to consider what lessons Europe might learn from the Latin American experience.