Being in the spaces where decisions are made: Reproductive rights advocacy and policy influence in two regions of Peru
2009 (English)In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, Vol. 8, no 4, 427-447 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In the 1990s, some segments of Latin American feminist movements shifted to advocacy strategies to influence government policies. Long-standing social movement theories predict that this tactical change to institutional means has two possible consequences for a movement: either it gains greater influence over policy arenas and becomes more effective in achieving outcomes, or it loses capacity to carry out protest tactics and becomes less effective in achieving outcomes. However, empirical studies on Latin American feminist organizations intervening in policies, and recent social movement theorizing, indicate that the relationship between social movements and policy influence is more complex. Moreover, these theories have been formulated based on empirical studies in contexts with established democratic frameworks and institutions. The study presented here employed Grounded Theory to examine inductively the research questions of how reproductive rights organizations carry out advocacy to influence government policies in Peru. Data was collected through participant observation and focus group discussions among two reproductive rights coalitions in the regions of Arequipa and Cusco. The findings indicate that the reproductive rights coalitions develop a multiplicity of interactions with government officials, as a means to influence policies through various channels and handle constraints on their ability to act as independent pressure groups. In addition, the findings show that the coalitions deal with a wide range of factors to influence policies: organizational capacity, advocacy strategies, issue frames, relationships with other policy actors as well as political and social aspects that facilitate or hinder advocacy. The study concludes that the relationship between social movements and policy influence is more complex than portrayed by long-standing theories. Instead, the findings are consistent with, and enhance the scholarship on Latin American feminist organizations involved in policies, as well as recent social movement theorizing that takes into account how various factors affect social movement influence on policies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2009. Vol. 8, no 4, 427-447 p.
Reproductive rights, advocacy, Peru, social movements, influence, policies
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33422DOI: 10.1080/14742830903234304OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-33422DiVA: diva2:312388