A Relational Political Economy of Social Movements and Capitalist Dynamics

Relatori e Relatrici

    Federico M. Rossi
    UNED & National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires 

Federico M. Rossi, UNED & National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires
A Relational Political Economy of Social Movements and Capitalist Dynamics”

Abstract
Capitalism and social movements dynamics are intimately related, but they are also undertheorized in social movement studies. Even though many social movement struggles around the world are directly or indirectly related to a socioeconomic issue, extensive analysis of the political economy of movements has been largely ignored by North Atlantic social movement scholars. This oversight is particularly concerning considering that the claims of movements generally include calls for alternative politico-economic models and for social justice, broadly conceived. However, this path of the North Atlantic literature was not followed in the rest of the world, where most social conflicts happen. Thus, beyond the growing interest in the North and the sustained interest in the South, the discussion about capitalism and social movements is still not organized as a political economy of social movements. I offer a theoretical alternative with the proposal to analyze capitalism as a relational process constituted by temporal, spatial, and phenomenological dimensions. The aim is to recouple these dimensions of capitalism and social movements in dynamic terms to bring together a political economy of social movements superseding the functionalist notion of grievance construction and mobilization. After proposing an original new perspective to the analysis of social movements and capitalism, I illustrate my theoretical proposal with the study social movement dynamics across the capitalist models of development that predominated in Latin America from independence from colonial rule until the early 21st century.