Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor; Interim Director of the Master of Global Studies Program, Political Science, Missouri State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1999
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
Opportunities, Ideas and Actions: The Brazilian Landless Movement, 1979-2001

My dissertation will be on the Brazilian agrarian reform movement, known as the landless movement. Born at the end of the 1970s, the landless movement has become the strongest agrarian reform movement in Brazil's history, despite the fact that today almost 80% of the country's population lives in urban areas. My dissertation will attempt to solve this empirical puzzle and, in so doing, contribute to our theoretical understanding of rural mobilization in the contemporary developing world. The main hypothesis I will explore is that the movement is in large part a product of the rapid economic development that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. Development strengthened urban social sectors potentially favorable to the landless's cause and, by greatly expanding the news media, also made it easier for the landless to appeal to these sectors through protest. My research design will involve a comparison between the landless movement and the Peasant Leagues of the 1950s and 1960s. My fieldwork, however, will focus on the contemporary movement using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.