Post-neoliberal protest in Latin America as struggle over the name of 'the people'

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If the ‘move to the left’ in the 2000s in Argentina and Brazil was the result of a longer process of contentious mobilization from below, enacted primarily during the latter part of the previous decade, what kind of social imaginaries have been enacted in the newest wave of discontent and what is its likely effect on the post-neoliberal form of governance? The argument put forward here is that the newest wave of social protest elicits the re-enactment of the liberal imaginary indirectly expressed under the notion of the republic. This operation tends to undermine the bases of post-neoliberalism, i.e. ‘the popular’, ‘the national-popular’ and ‘anti-neoliberalism: the imaginaries that defined the move to the left in the region. A new activated public, associated with middle-class sectors, raises new demands and does not identify with the ‘anti-neoliberal’ camp. Inasmuch as this activation entails a dispute over the name of the people, it signals a slowdown in the efficacy existing populist formations possess to deepen the movement towards more radical reforms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-73
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Political Ideologies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016


  • Postneoliberalism
  • Latin America
  • Social protest
  • mobilisation
  • Populism
  • Argentina
  • Brazil


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