Peasants Against Globalization: Rural Social Movements in Costa Rica

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Overview

This book tells the story of how small farmers responded to a free-market onslaught that devastated one of the Western Hemisphere's most advanced social-democratic welfare states. In the early 1980s, the Latin American debt crisis struck Costa Rica, leading to major cutbacks in the social programs that had permitted the rural poor to attain an acceptable standard of living and a modicum of dignity.. "Peasants were in the forefront of movements against these cutbacks, marching, blocking highways, and occupying government buildings. In the struggle to preserve their livelihood, the rural poor also formed alliances with wealthy farmers, negotiated with politicians, and embraced and then repudiated charismatic outsiders who came to live among them and to speak in their name.. "The author argues that the experience of rural activism in Costa Rica in the 1980s and 1990s calls into question much current theory about collective action, peasantries, development, and ethnographic research. The book invites the reader to rethink debates about old and new social movements, to grapple with the ethical and methodological dilemmas of engaged ethnography, to retrace the long history of development ignored by its postmodernist critics, and to come face-to-face with peasants stubbornly committed to survival.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Edelman (anthropology, Hunter College, City University of New York) tells how small farmers responded to a free-market onslaught that devastated one of the Western hemisphere's most advanced social- democratic welfare states. He argues that the experience of rural activism in Costa Rica in the 1980s and 1990s calls into question much current theory about collective action, development, and ethnographic research. Paper edition (unseen), $22.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804736930
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Marc Edelman is Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of City University of New York. He is the author of The Logic of the Latifundio: The Large Estates of Northwestern Costa Rica Since the Late Nineteenth Century (Stanford, 1992).
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction: Debt Crisis, Social Crisis, Paradigm Crisis 1
1 The Rise and Demise of a Tropical Welfare State 44
2 "Iron Fist in a Kid Glove": Peasants Confront the Free Market 91
3 Organizing in "The Cradle of Maize" 112
4 "In Jail, We'll Eat Cement": Finale to a Peasant Strike 134
5 Movements Evolve, Organizations Are Born and Die 156
Conclusion: Peasant Movements of the Late Twentieth Century 184
App The Costa Rican Security Ministry's View of the Agriculturalists' Organizations in 1988 215
Notes 243
References Cited 271
Index 301
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