Although there is talk of peace, there are no safeguards for the activities of the social organisations that are working to defend social rights and to oppose an economic model that is deepening inequality and that violates fundamental rights.
Although support from urban-based students and activists was important, the rural protest in Indonesia during President Suharto's regime was built on continued protest and organisation around land issues.
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).
Against a barrage of opposition media propaganda funded by Bolivia’s elites, the new constitution was approved with 61% of the popular vote. Bolivia was once the prized pupil for its wholesale application of policies encouraged by the IMF and the World Bank. Now it is one of the countries articulating an alternative.
Brazil has not experienced any sort of major agrarian reform since then, but dozens of rural movements have been organised and hundreds of thousands of landless peasants have acquired the right of access to land (especially through settlement projects) as a result of these social movements’ struggles. After so many years of fighting and popular mobilisation, what are these movements’ contributions to building rural democracy? This study seeks to understand this process by evaluating social movements’ alliances (both rural and urban alliances) and evaluating their relationships with political parties, especially with the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) and with the Brazilian Federal Government.
Has political regime change led to changes in state-society relations? This study begins to address this question by analysing rural movement efforts to exercise newly-won citizen rights. The specific focus is on rural civil society initiatives to use the “right to know” as a tool to bolster long-standing campaigns to build self-managed, community-based economic development institutions, to bolster peasant influence over the policy process, to defend human rights, and to respect indigenous rights.
To be a strong peasant movement in a place like Chokwe, Mozambique requires going beyond ambiguous compromises to develop collective political thinking and to develop the capacity to use political power in ways that ensure that governmental and non-governmental organisations that help the peasantry act in line with what peasants wish and need.
Most public opinion surveys indicate that the Obamamania that swept Western Europe has also seized Russia. However Russians are more afraid of change, and there is nothing in the air to indicate that they see a necessity for sweeping reforms.