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Over the last fifteen years Latin America has represented a true laboratory. With this term, we refer to experimentation with political and constitutional forms capable of innovating the modern tradition, with a potential to be shifted into other contexts. In many countries, from Argentina to Brazil, Venezuela to Uruguay, Ecuador to Bolivia, we have seen the emerging of major popular, youth and native movements that have favored the advent in government of experiences of radical reform, short of determining the opening of true constituent phases. Movements that oppose neoliberal governmentalism while, at the same time, criticizing the traditional “growth-ism” of large sectors of the Latin American left. The experimentation with forms of participation and democratic control and constitutionalization of common assets demonstrate that in Latin America a period of new constitutionalism has begun, in which the relationship between the constituent moment and what is constituted seems to remain open. The movements have undoubtedly fostered the rise to power of socialist political forces, but the electoral moment has not been taken as a final result. On the other hand, the socialist parties in power, if they want to avoid falling into the cycle of political corruption of the forms of government or in the constitution of new elites, require ongoing destituent and constituent pressures, capable of reopening the action of government itself.
A dualism between governments and movements that should certainly not be emphasized. What interests us is to understand, on an analytical and political level, what stimuli for critical reflection and what elements of potential translation can be offered to Europe by the Latin American laboratory.
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