Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Santiago Anria publishes article in "Studies in Comparative International Development"

December 15th, 2015

“Social Movements and Social Policy: the Bolivian Renta Dignidad” by Santiago Anria & Sara Niedzwiecki


The impact of popular mobilization and social movements against the advance of neoliberal policies has been well documented and theorized. Their concrete impact on the process of social policy reform in the post-neoliberal era is still under debate, however. This article theorizes about the conditions linking disparate new movements to each other and to old, class-based social movements in the defense of a concrete policy reform, Bolivia‘€™s non-contributory pension, the Renta Dignidad. Using a case study research design built on content analysis of newspaper coverage, we identify the necessary, though not sufficient, conditions facilitating alignment of interests and coordinated mobilization‘€“a context of adversity (as confronting a highly mobilized opposition) and the universalistic characteristics of the policy. Under those conditions, social movements allied with Bolivia‘€™s governing Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) were critical in the passage of Renta Dignidad by counterbalancing the pressure from a highly mobilized opposition backed by strong economic elites.

Download the full article here

Bolivia + People
William Balée
Professor - Anthropology