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Interpreting the taking vs. creating power dichotomy: A case study of the Argentinean labour movement CTA and the Constituyente Social
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This is a case study of the alternative labour union organization Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina (CTA) in Argentina and the most recent project under process striving for system change, named the Constituyente Social. The case under study is used to illustrate the perception of power in relation to aspirations for societal change among the left in Latin America. The overall struggle of the CTA and the Constituyente Social is to create a more just society based on a deepening of democracy, more participatory in character. Two understandings of power are presented, on the one hand is the taking power concept, inherited from the political struggles where the belief is that power needs to be taken from the elite in order to succeed with structural change in society. On the other hand is the creating power perception, best exemplified with the Zapatista movement in Mexico. There is no conquering of power in this view, but a creation and strengthening of power among the masses. The theoretical chapter presents a view that unites these two perceptions, arguing for the need to intersect the vertical (power taking) and the horizontal (power creating) struggles. The Constituyente Social is analyzed in relation to this intersection, providing concrete examples of where the two power perceptions are utilized, sometimes simultaneously. The overall conclusion is that the dichotomization usually done between the two understandings of power is incomplete and may even damage the struggle for societal change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 48 p.
Monographs/Institute of Latin American Studies, ISSN 0284-6675
Keyword [en]
Argentina, CTA, Constituyente Social, taking power, creating power, intersecting, new unionism, participatory democracy
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28954OAI: diva2:228173
2009-06-22, 00:00 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-08-14 Created: 2009-07-27 Last updated: 2011-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Gonzalez, Carolina
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