Rebecca Tarlau

in Occupying Schools, Occupying Land

Published in print August 2019 | ISBN: 9780190870324
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190870331 | DOI:

Series: Global and Comparative Ethnography


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  • Sociology of Education
  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Political Sociology


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The Epilogue reflects on the future of the MST’s political struggle—and that of the Brazilian left more broadly—in the context of the 2016 ousting of the Workers’ Party (PT) from the federal government and the 2018 presidential election of ultra-right conservative Jair Bolsonaro. Although Bolsonaro’s rise to power is a serious setback for the movement, the core argument of the book still holds: the MST’s thirty-five-year strategic engagement with the Brazilian state significantly expanded its internal capacity, including its organizational structure, resource base, and collective leadership, and the movement is unlikely to disappear in the near future. This long march through the institutions was only possible because activists engaged in contentious political mobilization, while also prefiguring their social and economic vision within a variety of state spheres and under a diversity of political regimes. Even in the new political context, activists will be able to defend many of their institutional gains, helping the movement withstand, if not fully deflect, this far-right resurgence.

Keywords: Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST); Jair Bolsonaro; Michel Temer; Antonio Gramsci; ENERA; contentious co-governance; prefigure/prefigurative politics; GERM; Latin American social movements; educational change

Chapter.  7016 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Education ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Political Sociology

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