ABOUT THIS BOOK
An anthropological approach to an emerging form of transnational political engagement by independent civil society organizations
Activism and advocacy have drawn academic interest as alternative ways of achieving collective ends outside established political institutions. However, there has been very little theoretical attention aimed at the interconnections between the two spheres. In Civil Becomings: Performative Politics in the Amazon and the Mediterranean, Raúl Acosta examines the manner in which progressive nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and activists act in a more intermingled and processual way than scholars have previously acknowledged.
Acosta focuses on networks from the vantage point of two NGOs: one in Brazil that concentrated on environmental issues in the Amazon and another in Barcelona called the Mediterranean Social Forum. The focus of this research is not on organizational aspects of collaboration, but rather on the practices and contexts in which such cooperation occurs. Three major aspects of activist and advocacy networks are analyzed: their communicative characters, their collective performances of the political, and the negotiations they engage in between vernacular and cosmopolitan values.
This volume theorizes the cooperative actions of activist and advocacy networks as legitimating processes for the work of participating groups. In doing so, Acosta argues, they address the issues that justify a joint campaign or effort and also crucially underpin each participating collective as a worthy organization of civil society.