Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science

First Advisor

Richard Stahler-Sholk

Second Advisor

Ed Sidlow


This paper seeks to examine three distinct cases of contemporary Latin American social movements, and explain their origins and the effectiveness of their collective action in terms of the political process theory and the concept of repertoires of contention respectively. The three cases in question are the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (The Landless Rural Worker's Movement, MST) in Brazil, the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberaci6n Nacional (Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN) in Mexico and the Caracazo (roughly translated, "the Caracas Smash") in Venezuela. This paper ultimately hopes to prove that all three cases are explained by the political process theory and seeks to answer whether or not the repertoires of contention chosen by each group of citizens were effective.