Challenges and limitations

Authored by: Geo Britto

The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138291027
eBook ISBN: 9781315265704
Adobe ISBN:


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The term NGO was coined by the United Nations (UN) in the 1940s. It refers to unofficial entities that receive financial assistance from public agencies to carry out projects of social interest and community development. 1 In Latin America, its main focus was to overcome the poverty of the so-called “Third World.” A “National Developmentalist” proposal (1930–1964), defended by the UN, the Organization of the American States, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, emerged as a strategy of the capitalist system to change something so as not to have to change. Though in the 1970s and 1980s this idea revolved around collective organizations with a class perspective, in the 1990s, with neoliberalism, it gained ground as an integrated proposal for reduction of state and public expenditures, involving participatory discourses with uncritical, anti-class content, tying the idea of restricted participation to the associations that struggle for timely solutions while forgetting structural considerations.

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