A new political organization’s leaders must decide whether and how to share power with its grassroots activists.
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This case study is about the Frente Amplio (Broad Front, FA) in Uruguay, which began in 1971 as a coalition of 12 political groups that aimed to unify the political left and channel the political and social discontent that pervaded Uruguayan society. Alongside this coalition of party organizations, a movement of FA grassroots activists emerged autonomously in an explosion of bottom-up enthusiasm for the potential for a unified political left.
This case study is appropriate for:
- College students
- Grassroots activists
- Organizational leaders
By the end of this case study, you should be able to:
- Learn about different modes of structuring national political organizations, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Understand the dilemmas faced by political leaders who must decide between two competing goals of organizational development in a political organization’s early stages: the goal of giving grassroots activists sufficient influence in the organization’s decision-making and the goal of achieving and maintaining organizational discipline.
- Understand the crucial role that formal organizational rules play in the reproduction of activism.
- Appreciate the importance of relational environments for collective action.