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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)