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The Zapatista Movement and Mexico's Democratic Transition


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents List of Maps, Figures, and Tables Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Sliding Doors of Opportunities: Mobilization, Success, and Survival Chapter 3: Opportunities for Mobilization: Openings, Elites, Allies, and Threats Chapter 4: Opportunities for Success: Negotiations, Elites, and Allies Chapter 5: Opportunities for Survival: Transnational Solidarity Networks and Discourse Framing Chapter 6. Zapatistas between Sliding Doors of Opportunities

About the Author

Maria Inclan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, Mexico.


"[A] brief but stimulating work... Overall, whether one accepts the author's sympathetic reading of the constraints facing the Zapatistas or not, the book forces us to take seriously the limits of democratic opening in Mexico for counterelite movements, particularly those that demand forms of representation going beyond the merely electoral." -- Kathleen Bruhn, Perspectives on Politics "Maria Inclan's marvelous book captures, like no other, the logic and strategies of perhaps Latin America's most emblematic - and yet enigmatic - social movement of recent decades. Inclan's excellent study shows us how - contrary to academic predictions - Mexico's democratic transition actually created openings for the social movement to re-pivot its contestation of the entire regime, and instead challenge remaining subnational spaces of authoritarianism. Viewed through this more pragmatic lens, rather than from the vantage of prior polemical Zapatista studies, Professor Inclan offers broad lessons about the rationality that motivates such movements and how they can retain relevance even as political landscapes shift beneath them."-Todd Eisenstadt, author of Courting Democracy in Mexico and Politics, Identity and Mexico's Indigenous Rights Movements "This is a sophisticated contribution to our understanding of the Zapatistas and, more generally, to the dynamics contentious politics. Maria Inclan probes political opportunities in less open democracies, showing how some fueled the Zapatista protest cycle and others depressed it. Mexico presented an opportunity landscape with complex intersections of state, party and popular mobilization, and the sliding doors of opportunity opened and closed via the multitiered intersections of municipal, state, national, and international political arenas. Scholars of contentious politics will be rewarded by the larger issues of regime and paradigm that this book raises."- Hank Johnston, Professor of Sociology and Hansen Chair of Peace and Nonviolence Studies, San Diego State University "The Zapatistas' dramatic appearance in 1994 reflected more than two decades of effort, and captured global attention briefly. Maria Inclan's compelling account shows the deep roots of this indigenous movement, and traces its long term political effects, as the movement infused a larger campaign for democratic reforms."-David S. Meyer, author of The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America "Inclan provides a historical account of the Zapatista movement while making theoretical arguments regarding democratic transitions and social movements. Using the analogy of sliding doors, Inclan argues that the first set of doors opened up for the Zapatistas in the uprising in 1994, but the second of set of doors, which would have allowed for political success, never opened due to the government's inconsistent changes... The Zapatista's ability to foster transnational solidarity networks through the use of digital media garnered international support. Though its larger influence has waned over time, the Zapatista movement remains strong at the local level. In spite of the fact that the Zapatista movement failed to achieve autonomy for Mexico's indigenous people, it serves as a role model for other altermundista movements throughout the world." -- I. Coronado, University of Texas at El Paso

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