Willem Assies
CEDLA, The Netherlands


This chapter was published as a part of the book Structures of Power, Movements of Resistance: An Introduction to the Theories of Urban Movements in Latin America, edited by Willem Assies, Gerrit Burgwal & Ton Salman, and published by CEDLA, Amsterdam, in 1990. We have decided to reproduce it here, since it is part of Assies’ significant contribution to the study of social movements in Latin America. This theoretical paper performs a comprehensive review of Marxian theories in order to locate other contributions on social movements. It studies the efforts to integrate movements that are not directly class based, by analysing three theorists of urban social movements in Latin America, who had a pervasive influence through the 1970’s, and finishes by analysing the so-called ‘new social movements’ and the related development of ‘post-marxist’ approaches. All of this helps Assies clarify his position in the debate on urban movements in Latin America.

Keywords: social movements, urban movements, Latin America, marxism, post-marxism.