Judith Beyer & Felix Girke: Naypyitaw: Rescaling materiality, capitalizing space

Since 2012, we have carried out twelve months of urban anthropological research in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and its economic and cultural center. Until February 2016, however, we had not once visited the country’s capital, Naypyitaw, a planned city of immense size. It had not been a priority for our work, but we also had not been really keen on visiting: when the former military government began to relocate the capital in November 2005, away from cosmopolitan, multireligious, multiethnic Yangon, located at the mouth of the Andaman Sea, to a previously more or less vacant inland area, most commentators had been dismissive, bemused, or outraged.
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Alfredo Saad-Filho: Overthrowing Rousseff: It’s class war, and their class is winning

This post is part of a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London).

The judicial coup against President Dilma Rousseff is the culmination of the deepest political crisis in Brazil for fifty years.

Every so often, the bourgeois political system runs into crisis. The machinery of the state jams, the veils of consent are torn asunder, and the tools of power appear disturbingly naked. Brazil is living through one of those moments: it is a dreamland for social scientists, a nightmare for everyone else.
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Sian Lazar: “The happiness revolution”: Argentina and the end of post-neoliberalism?

This post is part of a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London). 

In mid-October 2015, it appeared as though Daniel Scioli, candidate for the Frente para la Victoria (Front for Victory, FPV) would win the Argentine presidential elections relatively easily.[1] He was comfortably ahead in the opinion polls and had won the open primary elections of the previous August by a margin of 8 percentage points. Some of my friends thought he might even scrape through in the first round alone, for which he needed to gain a lead of more than 10 percentage points over his nearest rival, Mauricio Macri, businessman and governor of the city of Buenos Aires. In the event, in a result that shocked many if not most observers, Scioli won the first round with a lead of only 2.9 percent, meaning he would face Macri in a second round runoff vote, the first in Argentina’s democratic history. In response to this news of the run-off, Macri tweeted that “the happiness revolution” had begun (Macri 2015), and despite considerable anti-Macri mobilization in the weeks between the first and second round votes, Macri had clearly gained momentum and eventually won by 51 percent to 49 percent.
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Massimiliano Mollona: The end of the Latin American pink tide? An introduction

This post is the introduction to a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London).

The twenty-first century opened with a wave of radical political mobilizations sweeping through Latin America and brought left-wing parties in power in Brazil (2002), Argentina (2003), Uruguay (2004), Bolivia (2006), Chile (2006), Ecuador (2006), Paraguay (2008), and Peru (2011). The so-called “pink tide” was the result of the massive societal mobilization against the dislocation brought by dictatorships in the 1980s and the radical privatizations and austerity measures pushed through by neoliberal social democracies in the 1990s. The core impulse of this new political phenomenon were the cross-sectional and horizontal alliances between anti-imperialist, white middle classes; the traditional labor movement; and indigenous, women, and urban organizations. The antiglobalization movement that emerged from the World Social Forum (WSF) was another central engine of the pink tide, in creating a liaison between parties and social movements, and renewing the labor movement by bringing together the traditional industrial trade unions and diverse sections of civil society. In power, left-wing governments across Latin America renationalized companies, set in motion massive programs of poverty reduction and urban participation, which empowered women, indigenous, and black minorities.

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