Resisting Neoliberal Homogenization: The Zapatista Autonomy Movement Essay

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http://lap.sagepub.com Latin American Perspectives DOI: 10.1177/0094582X06298747 Latin American Perspectives 2007; 34; 48 Richard Stahler-Sholk Resisting Neoliberal Homogenization: The Zapatista Autonomy Movement http://lap.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/2/48 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Latin American Perspectives, Inc. Additional services and information for Latin American Perspectives can be found at: Email Alerts: http://lap.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://lap.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations http://lap.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/34/2/48 Downloaded from http://lap.sagepub.com by vyacheslav Leshkinov on April 21, 2009 48 Resisting Neoliberal Homogenization The Zapatista Autonomy Movement by Richard Stahler-Sholk The Zapatista autonomy movement in Chiapas, Mexico, is a significant example of rising social-movement resistance to neoliberalism. The neoliberal project in Latin America since the 1980s has led to a retrenchment of the state, opening new space for social movements to contest power from below. In Mexico, the weakening of corporatist and clientelist mechanisms once controlled by the party-state allowed groups like the Zapatistas to assert rights based on both collective (ethnic) identity and Mexican national citizenship. An examination of the Zapatista autonomy movement since 1994 suggests several dilemmas: (1) A territorially based model of autonomy as administrative decentralization would not fundamentally alter existing political hierarchies or the role of the state as broker for global capital. (2) Autonomy conceived as mere disengagement would leave autonomous communities cut off from resources and

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