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Being in the spaces where decisions are made: Reproductive rights advocacy and policy influence in two regions of Peru
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1975-9060
2009 (English)In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 8, no 4, 427-447 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Reproductive rights, advocacy, Peru, social movements, influence, policies
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33422DOI: 10.1080/14742830903234304OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-33422DiVA: diva2:312388
Available from: 2010-04-26 Created: 2010-04-23 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. How social movements influence policies: Advocacy, framing, emotions and outcomes among reproductive rights coalitions in Peru.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How social movements influence policies: Advocacy, framing, emotions and outcomes among reproductive rights coalitions in Peru.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With its origins in the early 1990s, feminist advocacy directed at influencing public policies is a relatively new phenomenon in Latin America that is commonly studied at the national level. The aim of this thesis was to study feminist advocacy on reproductive rights at the sub-national level in Peru. Specifically, it explored two research questions: how do feminist movements carry out advocacy to intervene with government agencies and what effects does their advocacy have on policies. This aim ties in with the body of literature that seeks to explain how and what outcomes are produced by social movements. Grounded Theory was used to collect and analyze empirical materials on two reproductive rights coalitions and their members in Arequipa and Cusco, Peru. Empirical materials consisted of focus group discussions, individual interviews and participant observation. Data analysis resulted in two core categories: Coalition-Government Interactions and Policy Outcomes. Linked to the core categories are thirteen categories, which constitute factors that the reproductive rights coalitions “deal with” or “strategize about” in order to interact with government officials and attain policy outcomes. The coalitions maneuver those factors they have immediate control over - tactics, organization, framing and emotions - as a means to deal with those factors they do not have immediate control over - relationships with other policy actors as well as political, cultural and social contexts. The findings help refine existing theories on how and what outcomes are attained by social movements. The coalitions and their members influence policies through various channels by developing an array of interactions with government officials. This allows the coalitions to handle potential constraints on their ability to be a critical voice. Political, cultural and social contexts are not the only external factors affecting the coalitions’ influence on policies. Another key external factor is their relationships with other policy actors comprised of a range of organized political and social groups. Concerning internal factors, the coalitions and their members rely on framing activities and emotion work in addition to organization and tactics. Indeed, the coalitions and their members engage in framing activities and emotion work by means of their relationships with other policy actors to influence policies. Finally, the coalitions perceive effects of their advocacy including, but not limited to, the modification of laws and policies. Instead, outcomes were identified along different stages of the policy process, including the impact of coalition frames on policy positions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2010. 91 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 62
Keyword
Advocacy, emotions, framing, outcomes, Peru, policies, reproductive rights, social movements
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33483 (URN)978-91-7264-990-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-21, Norra Beteendevetarhuset HS1031, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-30 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2015-03-27Bibliographically approved

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