[C]ontentious politics is produced when political opportunities broaden, when they demonstrate the potential for alliances, and when they reveal the opponents’ vulnerability. Contention crystallizes into a social movement when it taps embedded social networks and connective structures and produces collective action frames and supportive identities able to sustain contention with powerful opponents. By mounting familiar forms of contention, movements become focal points that transform external opportunities into resources. Repertoires of contention, social networks, and cultural frames lower the costs of brining people into collective action, induce confidence that
they are not alone, and give broader meaning to their claims. Together, these factors trigger the dynamic processes that have social movements historically central to political and social change. (23)
Thus, contentious politics is deeply rooted in history and culture and is, more importantly, a catalyst for contagious cycles of contention, social movements, and, sustainability provided, actual political and social change. Accordingly, present paper examines Schneider’s and Yashar’s propositions on contentious politics in Chile’s Pinochet’s and Latin America based on Tarrow’s PPM.
Pinochet’s Chile. Schneider’s analysis of political struggle in Chile under Pinochet is, in terms of paradigm, modeled upon Tarrow’s PPM but, in terms of outcome – i.e. contention leading up to social movement and ultimately to social and political change – fails, in author’s opinion, to justify final defeat of Pinochet’s regime as a result of contentious politics in Chile.
In terms of paradigm, Schneider’s 1982 “economic crisis” suggests an interpretation of a political opportunity which, presumably, broadens spaces for contention and dissent (261). Further, Schneider’s opportunity seems to trigger cycles of contention spread within and