Social movements need to grapple with not only building successful political parties and winning power but also with using that power strategically to best implement change. This report examines the critical role played by Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) government employees and the challenges they faced in advancing a social and economic justice agenda within Bolivia. How can progressive government employees remain true to their political ideology while ensuring the execution of a professional and fair public bureaucracy?
The government of the Portuguese Socialist Party supported and pressured by an alliance with the Communist Party and the Left Bloc have shown that it is possible to implement an effective anti-austerity programme as a member of the EU.
Hungary was once praised as an example of successful democratisation and EU integration, but now has joined the ranks of ‘liberal’ nations backsliding into authoritarianism. Many commentators blame Orbán and his anti-migrant, anti-EU populist rhetoric, but ignore the underlying causes in particular the failings of market reforms in the country, high unemployment, low wages, spiraling household debts, and a nationalist capitalist class resentful of the advantages given to their transnational capitalist competitors.
The Frente Amplio (Broad Front) government of Uruguay, one of the most stable, fruitful and serene experiences of the “new Latin American left”, is going through a very dramatic electoral process with likely profound impacts in the country and in the region. Daniel Chavez appraises the results of the Uruguayan experience and suggests what might be relevant for other counter-hegemonic processes in the region and the world.
Law 1448 has been promoted as a demonstration of ‘good will’ by Santos' government in Colombia. The law’s main objective is to provide recognition to the victims of the Colombian armed conflict. This stands in contrast to the policy of denial enacted by the previous government.
The palaces of President Zuma and the massacre of miners at Marikana symbolise how the gulf between rich and poor has grown in the 18 years since the African National Congress came to power in South Africa. Hilary Wainwright reports on how formerly loyal ANC activists are turning against their government
Unless Left parties acknowledge their blunders and rebuild their links with progressive intellectuals and civil society activists, and involve them as well in changing course, they will face marginalisation and a historic decline.
The current crisis of the Bolivarian project is due to its failure to question the rentier petro-state model. Far from accepting that an alternative to capitalism necessarily had to be a departure from the destructive development model of unlimited growth, the government of President Chávez intensified it to extremes unknown in the country’s previous history.
This paper attempts to specify the key criteria of a ‘pro-poor land policy’ and ‘truly democratic land governance’ concerning state/public lands, using the lessons from activist databases, including that of the international human rights organization Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN).
This sixth annual State of Power report examines the cultural processes that are used by corporations, military and privileged elites to make their power seem 'natural' and 'irreversible'. It also explores how social movements can harness creativity, art and cultural forces to resist and to build lasting social and ecological transformation.