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No. 3, April 2008

The Third Issue of El Norte offers research articles on contemporary Latin American politics. Governments, social movements and undocumented immigrants tackle with both their past and their future in the three case studies. All cases demonstrate how Latin American citizens look for new ways to challenge and build on the politics of the past.

Lucas Manuel Bietti explores the new Argentine collective vision on the dictatorship years’ state violence. He demonstrates how President Néstor Kirchner cleverly used collective history-building discourse, transforming the vision of past. The article is a lively example on the importance of past in present-day politics and on the fundamental role states play.

What has happened after the Washington Consensus in the Bolivian society? Eija Ranta-Owusu opens the role of the Bolivian government and social movements in the midst of Post-Washington Consensus policy-making. The neoliberal agenda is still present in the contemporary Latin American politics, and so are alternative social movements like the Bolivian indigenous movement contesting it. The article scrutinizes the interaction of these phenomena and offers insights into how neoliberalism and social movements still continue to struggle for power in Latin America.

The neoliberal agenda has led to serious transformations in all spheres of the Latin American societies. For example, weakened livelihood has led to household transformations. Hanna Kara probes these alterations. She studies the life of irregular Latin American women migrants on the road through Mexico to the United States. In the courageous quest for jobs, as Kara's assesment demonstrates, life, gender and society gain new meanings.



Memoria, violencia y causalidad en la Teoría de los Dos Demonios

By Lucas Manuel Bietti

Lucas Manuel Bietti argues that the discursive construction of the Argentine dictatorship years’ state violence by President Néstor Kirchner has been a rupture in comparison to earlier governments. The new vision consolidates as a collective Argentine historical consciousness. A new, shared knowledge on the past has emerged. In a detailed and rich discourse analysis, Bietti investigates the struggle of two competing theories of the “demon” the dictatorship violence was. The article builds a strong case, offering interesting theoretical notions on conducting critical discourse analysis of collective memory building and politics.


From Post-Washington Consensus to Indigenous Worldview: Policy and Ideology in Contemporary Bolivia

By Eija Ranta-Owusu

Latin American countries introduced neoliberal policies in country-specific ways. The implementation process had severe impacts on a wide array of issues ranging from policy-making to national ideology and social movements. In her article, Eija Ranta-Owusu investigates the case of Post-Washington Consensus Bolivia in these respects. She argues that the establishment of Post-Washington Consensus development policies went in parallel with the rise of social movements in Bolivia. By studying the Post-Washington Consensus case, Ranta-Owusu demonstrates how despite occasional provocative rhetoric, pace of the reforms in Bolivia has been quite moderate. The article describes how contemporary indigenous alternatives are challenging the neoliberal Bolivian Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.


Naisten epävirallinen siirtolaisuus Meksikossa - Kohtaamisia Méxicon siirtolaisasemalla

By Hanna Kara

In this article written in Finnish, Hanna Kara explores the harsh voyage of undocumented migrant women from Latin America en route for the United States. The author weaves theories of illegal immigration and women’s migration in the case study of 26 Latin American women waiting for deportation in a Ciudad de México immigrant station. This is a rich portrayal of the life, aspirations, fears, hopes and reasons of migrant Latin American women to set the foot on the road and look for a better livelihood.


 Notes & Reviews

New Pulp Investments and Development: Lessons from Latin America and Finland

By Markus Kröger



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