Introduction
I N T E R R O G AT I N G T H E C I V I L S O C I E T Y A G E N D A ,
R E A S S E S S I N G U N C I V I C P O L I T I C A L A C T I V I S M
sonia e. alvarez, gianpaolo baiocchi, agustín
laó- montes, jeffrey w. rubin, and millie thayer
This anthology explores two faces of cultural- political strug gles evident
throughout Latin Amer i ca today: the increased visibility of confrontational
collective action, often represented as “uncivic,” on the one hand, and the
proliferation of civic participation through the so- called Third Sector and
governmental programs, on the other. Both facets— which we refer to as
“Uncivic Activism” and the “Civil Society Agenda,” respectively— have pro-
found policy and cultural implications for demo cratic politics, as well as so-
cial, racial, sexual, environmental, and gender justice.
From the Caracazo in Venezuela in 1989, to the massive Indian Uprising
that took Ec uador by surprise in 1990, through the protests that brought
the De la Rúa government in Argentina to its knees and the Bolivian Gas
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