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

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 13, 2012 - Political Science - 307 pages
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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 U.S. 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. It also shows that the introduction of government-controlled multiparty elections and the spread of competition for indigenous votes led Leftist opposition parties to become major sponsors of indigenous protest and identities. The expansion of electoral competition in some regions eventually led opposition parties to institutionalize protest, but the withdrawal of civil rights and political liberties and the threat of regime reversion in others gave rise to radicalization. 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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A Theory of Popular Collective Action in Autocracies
Why the Catholic Church Became
Why Electoral Competition Shaped
Regime Reversion Threats and
The Breakdown of Religious
Democratization as an Elite Strategy
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About the author (2012)

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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