Trajectories of transnational mobilization for indigenous rights in Brazil

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Ana Carolina Alfinito Vieira
Sigrid Quack


While research on episodes of transnational activism has advanced substantially in recent years, our knowledge about how long-term trajectories of cross-border activism affect the formation of national social movements and their capacity to influence domestic institutional change is still limited. This paper addresses this gap by analyzing transnational mobilization around the political and economic rights of indigenous groups in Brazil. We show that early pathways of transnational mobilization generated a set of ideational, organizational and institutional outcomes that enabled previously marginalized actors to shape the directions of institutional change within the country at the time of the Brazilian democratic transition. We identify three initially uncoordinated trajectories of transnational mobilization taking place in the late 1960s and 1970s and show how they converged over time through two social mechanisms – institutional cross-referencing and social networking – to form an increasingly tightly knit inter-sectoral social movement that was capable of influencing institution-building during the period of the National Constitutional Assembly (1987-1988). We conclude with a discussion of the linkages between transnational activism and national social movement formation.


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VIEIRA, A. C. A.; QUACK, S. Trajectories of transnational mobilization for indigenous rights in Brazil. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 56, n. 4, p. 380–394, 2016. Disponível em: Acesso em: 21 feb. 2024.