Decentering the Regime: Ethnicity, Radicalism, and Democracy in Juchitán, Mexico
Since 1989 an indigenous political movement—the Coalition of Workers, Peasants, and Students of the Isthmus (COCEI)—has governed the southern Mexican city of Juchitán. InDecentering the Regime, Jeffrey W. Rubin examines this Zapotec Indian movement and shows how COCEI forged an unprecedented political and cultural path—overcoming oppression in the 1970s to achieve democracy in the 1990s. Rubin traces the history and rise to power of this grassroots movement, and describes a Juchitán that exists in substantial autonomy from the central Mexican government and Mexican nationalism—thereby debunking the notion that a state- and regime-centered approach to power can explain the politics of domination and resistance in Mexico.
Employing an interdisciplinary approach, Rubin shows that the Juchitecos' ability to organize and sustain a radical political movement grew out of a century-long history of negotiation of political rule. He argues that factors outside the realm of formal politics—such as ethnicity, language, gender, and religion—play an important part in the dynamics of regional political struggles and relationships of power. While offering a detailed view of the Zapotec community and its interactions, Rubin reconceptualizes democracy by considering the question of how meaningful autonomy, self-government, cultural expression, and material well-being can be forged out of violence and repression.
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Theorizing Power and Regimes I
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activities administration agrarian agricultural alliance analysis artistic attacks authorities autonomy Ayuntamiento Popular boss businesspeople Bustillo cacicazgo cacique campaign Campbell 1990b Cardenas central challenges characterized Charis Charis's City Hall claims coalition COCEI leaders COCEI supporters COCEl coexistence conflict context contrast corporatism corporatist corrupt daily decades democracy democratic demonstrations discourse domain of sovereignty economic efforts ejido electoral elite ethnic formal political forms Furthermore governor grassroots groups identity indigenous Isthmus Zapotecs Juchi Juchitan La Venta land leftist Lopez ment Mexican politics Mexican Revolution Mexico City militant mobilization moderates municipal president national political negotiation nomic Oaxaca official party ongoing opposed opposition ordinary Juchitecos organizations participation peasants and workers Pineda policies politicians poor postrevolutionary practices prifstas procedural democracy projects pueblo radical politics rebellion reform reformist regime resistance response result ritual role Satdite social success Tani tion violence women Zapotec culture Zapotec language