Rebecca Tarlau. 2015. Education of the countryside at a crossroads: rural social movements and national policy reform in Brazil, The Journal of Peasant Studies, 42:6, 1157-1177

This contribution explores the strategies used by popular movements seeking to advance
social reforms, and the challenges once they succeed. It analyzes how a strategic alliance
between the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the National
Confederation of Agricultural Workers (CONTAG) transformed the Ministry of
Education’s official approach to rural schooling. This success illustrates the critical
role of international allies, political openings, framing, coalitions and state–society
alliances in national policy reforms. The paper also shows that once movements
succeed in advancing social reforms, bureaucratic tendencies such as internal
hierarchy, rapid expansion and ‘best practices’ – in addition to the constant threat of
cooptation – can prevent their implementation

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