Popular Movements in Autocracies

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

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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 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.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 28 b/w illus. 4 maps 12 tables
  • 1139511939
  • 9781139511933

About Guillermo Trejo

Guillermo Trejo is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He was previously on the faculty at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (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 Politica 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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Table of contents

Part I. Theory: 1. A theory of popular collective action in autocracies; Part II. Protest: 2. Accounting for Mexico's cycle of indigenous protest: quantitative evidence; 3. Competing for souls: why the Catholic Church became a major promoter of indigenous mobilization; 4. Competing for votes: how elections and repression shaped Mexico's cycle of indigenous protest; Part III. Rebellion: 5. A call to arms: regime reversion threats and the escalation of protest into rebellion; 6. From social movement to armed rebellion: religion, repression, and the microdynamics of rebel recruitment; Part IV. The Politicization of Ethnicity: 7. Politicizing ethnicity: the breakdown of religious and political monopolies and the rise of indigenous identities; 8. The twilight of ethnicity: democratization as an elite strategy to avert Mexico's indigenous insurgency.
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Review quote

'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
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