CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Eduardo Silva publishes and presents new scholarly work

September 20th, 2012

Eduardo Silva, Professor of political science and Associate Research Fellow at CIPR, has published “Exchange Rising? Karl Polanyi and Contentious Politics in Latin America,” in the September issue of Latin American Politics and Society. The article discusses whether or not a significant source of societal resistance has been created due to the resurgence of market economies. An abstract can be found below. Silva also contributed a chapter on “Environment and Sustainable Development” to the recently published Handbook of Latin American Politics, edited by Peter Kingstone and Deborah Yashar.

Over the summer, Professor Silva presented his research on Bolivia at two seminars in the Latin American region. At the Friedrich Elbert Foundation in La Paz, he presented the seminar “Momentos Criticos y Conflictividad en Bolivia”. At the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador, School of Social Sciences, Professor Silva presented “Política y Conflictividad en Bolivia”. Professor Silva was also quoted in a September 25th Bloomberg article about the Venezuelan Presidential elections, the full text of the article can be found here.

Eduardo Silva (2012). “Exchange Rising? Karl Polanyi and Contentious Politics in Latin America,” Latin American Politics and Society, 54, 3 (September): 1-32.

Free-market reforms in the last quarter of the twentieth century weakened the point of production-labor unions-as the source of effective nonparty political countermovement to liberal capitalism. Has another significant source of societal resistance arisen in association with the resurgence of market economics? Building on the work of Karl Polanyi, this article argues that circuits of exchange-the commodification of labor, land, and money-can be powerful sources of movement against contemporary forms of free-market capitalism. It draws on the cases of Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador to explore how Polanyi‘€™s exchange-based approach helps to elucidate three phenomena: the great variety of identities behind the myriad movements against free-market capitalism, the emergence of community as a powerful locus for organizing, and the proliferation of new forms of transgressive and highly disruptive direct action to reinforce the debilitated effectiveness of the strike.