The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope

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Dinerstein offers a much needed review of the concept and practice of autonomy. She argues that defining autonomy as either revolutionary or ineffective vis-à-vis the state does not fully grasp the commitment of Latin American movements' to the creation of alternative practices and horizons beyond capitalism. By establishing an elective affinity between autonomy and Bloch's principle of hope, the author defines autonomy as 'the art of organizing hope', that is the art of shaping a reality which does not yet exists but can be anticipated by the movements collective actions. Drawing from the experience of four prominent indigenous and non-indigenous movements, Dinerstein suggests that the politics of autonomy produce an excess that cannot be translated into the grammar of power. This involves an engagement with a reality that is not yet and, therefore, counters value with hope. The book also offers a critique of political economy, reading Marx's philosophy in key with hope, and interprets the prefigurative features of autonomy at a time when utopia can no longer be objected.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages282
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-31601-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-32298-5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014

Publication series

NameNon Governmental Public Action Series
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan


  • social movements
  • hope
  • autonomy
  • latin america
  • policy
  • politics
  • indigenous movements
  • Bolivia
  • landless rural workers
  • Zapatistas
  • Que se vayan todos
  • Argentina 2001
  • the state
  • prefiguration
  • critique of political economy


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