Photo: “DSC04144“, by Luigino Bracci licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Payne, Leigh A., and Leigh A. Payne. Uncivil movements: The armed right wing and democracy in Latin America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.


Examining the Experience of Latin American countries moving from authoritarianism to liberalization, Leigh Payne focuses on organized right-wing groups that take armed, often violent, action to destabilize emerging democratic governments. Although few social movement scholars include armed right-wing groups in their analyses, Payne points to the capacity of these groups to incorporate social movement discourse and practice in their own mobilization. She demonstrates how these uncivil movements gain power through political threats, cultural cues, and legitimating myths, developing their institutional skills to increase their political power in democracies.

Table of contents

  • Defining uncivil movements
  • A theoretical approach to uncivil movements
  • The Argentine Carapintada
  • The Brazilian rural democratic union
  • The Nicaraguan contras
  • Uncivil movements in comparative perspective.