This introductory chapter provides an overview of the central challenges of the book. First, it examines the construction and gendering of leadership through the constant reworking of neoliberal restructuring, transnational connections, and NGO interventions within locally interpreted ethnic and gendered relationships. Second, it analyzes the effects of these relationships and interventions on the activism of leaders in the colonias. The key processes that will be implicated in this study are global economic restructuring, the migration in its wake, the growth of neoliberal policy from the early 1980s, the attending expansion of the role of NGOs in many communities, and neoliberal governance as a key element of the neoliberal political project.
Keywords: leadership gendering, neoliberal restructuring, transnational connections, nongovernmental organizations, activism, colonias, global economic restructuring, migration, neoliberal policy, neoliberal governance
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