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Espiral (Guadalajara)

Print version ISSN 1665-0565


PETERSEN CORTES, Germán. Modernization theory and contemporary social movements: the case of the Brazilian protests of June 2013. Espiral (Guadalaj.) [online]. 2015, vol.22, n.62, pp.43-72. ISSN 1665-0565.

Many international analysts claimed that the Brazilian protests of June 2013 were a consequence of the country's rapid economic growth over the past few years, the rise of new middle classes, the heighten of expectations on government, the increase of citizen participation and the weakness of political institutions to handle all the above-mentioned situations. This explanation relied, explicitly or implicitly, on the modernization theory of Samuel P. Huntington, despite the fact more than forty years have gone by since the first appearance of Political order in changing societies (1968) -Huntington's most famous book on impacts of modernization. The purpose of this paper is to question whether Huntington's causality model actually explains the Brazilian protests. In order to do this, ethnographies of the protests that pay particular attention to their causes are contrasted with the model raised by Huntington. Based on the above, the scopes and limits of the modernization theory to explain contemporary social movements are discussed.

Keywords : Brazil; modernization; social movements; protests; Samuel P. Huntington.

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