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Community Power and Grass Roots Democracy

Community Power and Grass Roots Democracy

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Published by: tajkra on Jun 22, 2012
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The Transformation of Social Life
 Edited by Michael Kaufman and Haroldo Dilla Alfonso
 London & New Jersey
Ottawa • Cairo • Dakar • Johannesburg • Montevideo • Nairobi • New Delhi • Singapore
Community Power and Grassroots Democracy
was first published in 1997 by Zed BooksLtd, 7 Cynthia Street, London N1 9JF, UK, and 165 First Avenue, Atlantic Highlands,New Jersey 07716, USA,and the International Development Research Centre, PO Box 8500, Ottawa, ON, CanadaK1G 3H9.Editorial copyright © Michael Kaufman, 1997Individual chapters copyright © individual contributorsThe moral rights of the authors of this work have been asserted by them in accordancewith the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988Typeset in Monotype Garamond by Lucy Morton, London SE12Printed and bound in the United Kingdom by Biddies Ltd, Guildford and King’s LynnAll rights reservedA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Community power and grassroots democracy: the transformation of social life / edited byMichael Kaufman, and Haroldo Dilla Alfonso.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 1–85649–487-X. — ISBN 1–85649–488–8 (pbk.)1. Community development-Latin America-Case studies. 2. Political participation-LatinAmerica-Case studies. 3. Community development. 4. Political participation. 5. Socialmovements. 1. Kaufman, Michael, 1951- . II. Dilla Alfonso, Haroldo.HN110.5.Z9C6259 1997 96–39524307.1 ‘4’098 dc21 CIP
ISBN 1 85649 487 X (Hb)ISBN 1 85649 488 8 (Pb)Canadian ISBN 0 88936 784 1
Acknowledgementsvii Foreword
 Rosny Smarth
 ix 1 Community Power, Grassroots Democracy, and theTransformation of Social Life
 Michael Kaufman
Part One: Country Studies
 2 Participation and Popular Democracy in the Committees forthe Struggle for Housing in Costa Rica
Silvia Lara and Eugenia Molina.
 27 3 Participation and Development in Cuban Municipalities
 Haroldo Dilla Alfonso with Gerardo González Núñez
 55 4 Popular Organizations in the Dominican Republic: TheSearch for Space and Identity
César Pérez
 84 5 Popular Organizations and the Transition to Democracy inHaiti
 Luc Smarth.
 102 6 The Hidden Politics of Neighborhood Organizations: Womenand Local Participation in the Poblaciones of Chile
Veronica Schild 
Part Two: Theme Studies
 7 Differential Participation: Men, Women and Popular Power
 Michael Kaufman.
 151 8 Political Decentralization and Popular Alternatives: A Viewfrom the South
 Haroldo Dilla Alfonso.
 170 9 New Social Movement Theory and Resource MobilizationTheory: The Need for Integration
 Eduardo Canel.
 189 About the Contributors222 Index224 
Finishing work on this particular book is a bitter-sweet experience. Over the course of seven years a group of us worked together on an ambitious project that brought togethercolleagues from seven, eight, nine countries. Our aim was simultaneously to build aresearch network that spanned North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and,eventually, South America (and four different native tongues — Spanish, English,French, and Haitian Creole) and to conduct a novel bit of research on a co-operative andcollaborative basis. Sometimes months would pass when we were unable to communicateamong ourselves — so bad were phone and mail connections in some cases. Seeing theproject come to an end brings an immense sense of satisfaction, but also sadness, as aperiod of our lives comes to an end without a clear idea when we will see each other orhave the pleasure of working together again.This work has benefitted from the contribution and dedication of so many individuals. Inparticular, I would like to thank Sheilagh Knight, who worked tirelessly at CERLAC asthe project administrator during its most difficult two years. I would also like to thankLiddy Gomes, the tireless CERLAC administrator and a source of advice and help onmatters large and small. I am indebted to Lizeth Alvarez and Sabrina Blackstad, thepersons-of-all-trades at CERLAC during the project, and Barbara Anderson, our originalpart-time project administrator. Former CERLAC Director Alan Simmons played a keyrole in encouraging me through the difficult first stages of this project and generouslygiving both his time and invaluable advice. All my colleagues at CERLAC were a sourceof ongoing encouragement, but let me mention Liisa North, who for two years during theproject was the Acting Director of CERLAC; Peter Landstreet, who was, for a period,Deputy Director; and Meyer Brownstone and Ricardo Grinspun, who were Directorsduring its completion. All were tremendous in their ongoing help.This project would have been impossible without the very generous support of theInternational Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa and the Ford Foundationin New York. At the IDRC, I would like to thank Andres Perez, who helped in theoriginal formulation of the project, Guillermo Thornberry, Esther Beaudry, andparticularly Christopher Smart, who took over relations with our project during its mostcritical stages and provided not only support and encouragement, but many insights aswell. At Ford, I would like to thank Michele Heisler, whoparticipated in one of our initial workshops, Cynthia Sanborn for her ongoing backing,Rebecca Nichols, as well as Penny Alex and Peggy Greves. The Social Sciences andHumanities Research Council provided valuable assistance for one of our workshops andfor the research of the project co-ordinator. Thanks also to Robert Molteno and the staff at Zed Books.In addition to the many colleagues who contributed to the specific research projects andwhose names are mentioned elsewhere in this volume, I would like to thank variousindividuals who contributed to the development of the project through participation inworkshops, preparation of papers not included in this volume, and through early supportfor various projects: Barry Adam, Amparo Arango, Jonathan Barker, Deborah Barry,Julio Barrios, Meyer Brownstone, Almachiara D’Angelo, Hugh Dow, Norman Girvan,

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