Overview


The information revolution is leading to the rise of network forms of organization in which small, previously isolated groups can communicate, link up, and conduct coordinated joint actions as never before. This in turn is leading to a new mode of conflict--netwar--in which the protagonists depend on using network forms of organization, doctrine, strategy, and technology. Many actors across the spectrum of conflict--from terrorists, guerrillas, and criminals who pose security threats, to social activists who may...
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The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico

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Overview


The information revolution is leading to the rise of network forms of organization in which small, previously isolated groups can communicate, link up, and conduct coordinated joint actions as never before. This in turn is leading to a new mode of conflict--netwar--in which the protagonists depend on using network forms of organization, doctrine, strategy, and technology. Many actors across the spectrum of conflict--from terrorists, guerrillas, and criminals who pose security threats, to social activists who may not--are developing netwar designs and capabilities. The Zapatista movement in Mexico is a seminal case of this. In January 1994, a guerrilla-like insurgency in Chiapas by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), and the Mexican government's response to it, aroused a multitude of civil-society activists associated with human-rights, indigenous-rights, and other types of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to swarm--electronically as well as physically--from the United States, Canada, and elsewhere into Mexico City and Chiapas. There, they linked with Mexican NGOs to voice solidarity with the EZLN's demands and to press for nonviolent change. Thus, what began as a violent insurgency in an isolated region mutated into a nonviolent though no less disruptive social netwar that engaged the attention of activists from far and wide and had nationwide and foreign repercussions for Mexico. This study examines the rise of this social netwar, the information-age behaviors that characterize it (e.g., extensive use of the Internet), its effects on the Mexican military, its implications for Mexico's stability, and its implications for the future occurrence of social netwars elsewhere around the world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780833043320
  • Publisher: RAND Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 181
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Contents
Chapter One: An Insurgency Becomes A Social Netwar
Chapter Two: The Advent of Netwar: Analytic Background
Definition of Netwar
Networks vs. Hierarchies: Challenges for Counternetwar
Varieties of Netwar
Mexico—Scene of Multiple Netwars
Chapter Three: Emergence of the Zapatista Netwar
Three Layers to the Zapatista Movement
The Indigenas: Growing Desperation and Politicization
The EZLN: Mixture of Vertical and Horizontal Designs
Activist NGOs: Global, Regional, and Local Networks
On the Eve of War
Chapter Four: Mobilization for Conflict
The EZLN in Combat—A "War of the Flea"
Transnational NGO Mobilization—A "War of the Swarm"
Chapter Five: Transformation of the Conflict
Zapatista Emphasis on "Information Operations"
Attenuation and Restructuring of Combat Operations
Government Efforts at Counternetwar
Chapter Six: The Netwar Simmers—and Diffuses
Situational Standoff
From the EZLN to the EPR—Diffusion In Mexico
The Zapatista Netwar Goes Global
Assessments of the EZLN/Zapatista Movement
Actors to Watch: The Military and the NGOs
Basic Implication for U.S. Military Policy: "Guarded Openness"
Chapter Seven: Beyond Mexico
Toward a Demography of Social Netwar
Evolution of Organization, Doctrine, and Strategy
Favorable Conditions for Social Netwar
Challenges to Authoritarian Systems
Implications for the U.S. Army and Military Strategy
Concluding Comment
Appendix
A. CHRONOLOGY OF THE ZAPATISTA SOCIAL NETWAR (1994-1996)
B. RETHINKING MEXICO'S STABILITY ANDTRANSFORMABILITY
Bibliography
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