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Adjustment Policies, Union Structures, and Strategies of Mobilization: Teacher Politics in Mexico and Argentina

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This article analyzes the evolving mobilizational strategies of robust unions in contemporary Latin America. The origins of these strategies are rooted in the neoliberal adjustment policies in the early 1990s that compensated and reshaped power relations in labor organizations. With union compensation, a dominant faction concentrated power and embraced instrumentalism; the union exchanged electoral support with various parties for particularistic benefits. When adjustment policies were adopted without compensation, power was dispersed in an archipelago of activists. Unions then relied on movementism, which centered on contentious demand making and resistance to partisan alliances. Comparing teachers in Mexico and Argentina, this article contributes to broader debates about the effects of democracy on contentious politics and the changing partisan identities of workers.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2021

This article was made available online on June 23, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Adjustment Policies, Union Structures, and Strategies of Mobilization: Teacher Politics in Mexico and Argentina".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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