Of saints, sinners and compañeras: internationalist lives in the Americas today

Peter Waterman

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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A new internationalism is shaping up in the Americas today. In response to the destructive, divisive and exploitative globalisation now dominating the landscape, a variety of movements are contri' uting to the development of some kind of hemispheric civil society. Like earlier internationalisms, the new one, too, has its active agents. At present we know even less of this new generation than we know of their forebears. Stimulating or collecting interviews or testimonies from such activists, would not only provide lively human accounts accessible to ordinary people (to whom internationalism may still be foreign or exotic). It would also provide inputs into the work of movement strategists, media activists, committed researchers. To do this effectively requires some familiarity with the history of internationalism (and its limitations), language appropriate to internationalism under conditions of globalisation, some knowledge of past and contemporary internationalist activists in the Americas. Offered here in turn are 1) the salutary case of internationalist icon, Rigoberta Menchu, 2) argument on the value of (auto)biographies in advancing a contemporary internationalism in the Americas, 3) a `critical and committed' view of globalisation, and a complex view of solidarity, along with a heuristic model of internationalist types, 4) thumbnail sketches of six individual internationalists in the Americas (1830s-1990s) and, 5) some concluding reflections on the relation between the model and these sketches. An extended bibliography and resource listing complete the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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