Popular Movements in Autocracies: Religion, Repression, and Indigenous Collective Action in Mexico

Popular Movements in Autocracies: Religion, Repression, and Indigenous Collective Action in Mexico

by Guillermo Trejo
     
 

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This book presents a new explanation of the rise, development and demise of social movements and cycles of protest in autocracies; the conditions under which protest becomes rebellion; and the impact of protest and rebellion on democratization. Focusing on poor indigenous villages in Mexico's authoritarian regime, the book shows that the spread of US Protestant

Overview

This book presents a new explanation of the rise, development and demise of social movements and cycles of protest in autocracies; the conditions under which protest becomes rebellion; and the impact of protest and rebellion on democratization. Focusing on poor indigenous villages in Mexico's authoritarian regime, the book shows that the spread of US Protestant missionaries and the competition for indigenous souls motivated the Catholic Church to become a major promoter of indigenous movements for land redistribution and indigenous rights. The book explains why the outbreak of local rebellions, the transformation of indigenous claims for land into demands for ethnic autonomy and self-determination, and the threat of a generalized social uprising motivated national elites to democratize. Drawing on an original dataset of indigenous collective action and on extensive fieldwork, the empirical analysis of the book combines quantitative evidence with case studies and life histories.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Guillermo Trejo expands our knowledge of social movements by incorporating the long-lost factor of religion, broadening the context in which we understand why people rebel. His comprehensive examination of Mexican rebellions should be read widely by anyone interested in the topic of protest and revolution."
Anthony Gill, University of Washington

"How does religious competition beget indigenous mobilization? How does 'competition for souls' turn into ‘competition for votes'? What transforms a peasant movement into armed rebellion? And, finally, what is the impact of armed rebellion on democratization? Guillermo Trejo shows how peasant collective action and insurgency in Mexico emerged from deeper and less visible political processes. Having established that complexity, he then explains this process in a way that is general, simple, and elegant, combining deep understanding, long-term participant observation, and exhaustive empirical data collection and analysis. A superb book."
Stathis N. Kalyvas, Yale University

"Guillermo Trejo's impressive study seeks to explain the emergence of indigenous protest in Mexico, why that protest at times turned violent and gradually incorporated ethnic demands, and how that protest helped bring about democratization in Mexico. Lucidly argued and exhaustively researched, Trejo’s long-awaited book makes an important contribution to our understanding of Mexican politics as well as to broader theories of ethnic politics and social movements."
Raúl L. Madrid, University of Texas, Austin

"Popular Movements in Autocracies is a tour de force. Guillermo Trejo masterfully marshals rich and rigorous ethnographic evidence to advance a bold new theory of collective action by poor people. By integrating research on social movements, electoral institutions, and the political economy of religion, the book achieves a powerful synthesis that offers a far stronger explanation of the contrasting fortunes of poor people's movements in modern autocracies."
Richard Snyder, Brown University

"In this richly, theoretically informed study, Guillermo Trejo turns the traditional model of Latin American indigenous protest on its head. Rather than seeing neoliberal policies mobilizing traditional indigenous communities into protest and rebellion he shows how peasant networks in competitive communities constructed ethnic identities where authoritarian state governments used repressive policies to enforce neoliberal reforms. Southern Mexico is the site of his richly empirical research, but his findings extend to wherever Latin American peasant movements engage in protest and rebellion."
Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University

"This study offers a new perspective on the rise (and what Trejo sees a the post-democratisation 'twilight') of indigenous mobilisation in Mexico … this is a book that invites us to rethink historical processes in general terms that are also causal terms."
John Gledhill, Journal of Latin American Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781139507776
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/13/2012
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Guillermo Trejo is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He was previously on the faculty at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City. Trejo's research focuses on collective action and social protest, armed insurgencies and political violence and religion and ethnic identification in authoritarian regimes and new democracies. His work has been featured in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Latin American Studies and Política y gobierno. Trejo's dissertation received the 2006 Mancur Olson Award from the Political Economy Section of the American Political Science Association and his research on religious competition and ethnic mobilization in Latin America received the 2011 Jack Walker Outstanding Article Award from the APSA Political Organizations and Parties Section.

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