In This Review

Social Movements and Economic Transition: Markets and Distributive Conflict in Mexico
Social Movements and Economic Transition: Markets and Distributive Conflict in Mexico
By Heather L. Williams
Cambridge University Press, 2001, 239 pp
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Whereas Babb tells the story of the technocratic elite, Williams seeks out the groups in Mexico whose livelihoods have been threatened by its neoliberal policies. Her focus is on how these Mexicans have mobilized to form new worker- and farmer-based protest movements. This potent group has been characterized, Williams notes, as "students without diplomas, professionals without patrons, technicians without techniques, families without homes, and businessmen without businesses." Their strength lies in their ability to highlight contradictions in government policies. They tend to forge pragmatic, nontraditional alliances at the local level to compensate for the declining power of the old corporatist unions. And, like the economists, they form their own international coalitions. A useful reminder that market-oriented changes inevitably produce resistance among dissenting groups and trigger new configurations of opposition.