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This article examines the flood of resistance movements in today’s Latin America. It places them in the context of the great economic changes that have swept the world since the end of the Cold War, what is often called “globalization.” Analysis focuses on the “newness” of our contemporary period, especially the importance of the transnational political and economic order. This essay illustrates how social scientists attempt to understand this moment of change, and emphasizes the limitations to their theory. Special emphasis is on the utility of New Social Movement theory as a tool for understanding today’s resistance movements as well as the potential paths for radical change.