Preface and Acknowl edgments
This collection is the product of sustained dialogues and transnational col-
laborations among scholars and intellectual- activists from the Global North
and South who share an interest in developing critical theoretical approaches
to the participatory institutions and mass- based movements that have prolif-
erated in con temporary Latin Amer i ca. Bringing together people working on
each of these two forms of citizen engagement, our goal was to collectively
interrogate received understandings of civic participation, movement activ-
ism, and po litical protest.
The dialogue that eventually resulted in this volume was officially launched
at a two- panel plenary session, entitled After Washington, Beyond Civil So-
ciety,” during the International Congress of the Latin American Studies As-
sociation in 2007 in Montreal. Under the auspices of the Center for Latin
American, Ca ribbean, and Latino Studies at the University of Mas sa chu-
setts Amherst, we subsequently or ganized the Inter- University Consortium
on Social Movements and 21st  Century Cultural- Political Transformations,
which was co- coordinated by the Programa Democracia y Transformación
Global of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, in Lima, Peru.
Our network set out to promote collaborative research into the expansion of
civic participation through the Third Sector and governmental programs, on
the one hand, and the increased visibility of less “civil- ized,” more contentious
collective action, on the other, which we dubbed the “Civil Society Agenda”
and “Uncivic Activism,” respectively.
Our Consortium— later “translated” by our Latin American partners as
Coordinadora Interuniversitaria de Investigación sobre Movimientos So-
ciales y Cambios Político- Culturales—involved faculty and gradu ate stu-
dents from research institutes at the University of Mas sa chusetts (Amherst),
Brown University, the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Harvard
University, the University of Puerto Rico (Río Piedras), Universidade Federal
de Minas Gerais (ufmg-Brazil), Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Uni-
camp, Brazil), Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia), Universidad Nacional
Mayor de San Marcos (Lima, Peru), and Universidad Nacional San Martín
(Buenos Aires, Argentina), as well as over thirty members- at-large linked to
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