£12.99 | $19.95
11 February 2010
198mm x 129mm
History, International Relations, Latin America, Politics
Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global
In the early hours of January 1, 1994 a guerrilla army of indigenous Mayan peasants emerged from the highlands and jungle in the far southeast of Mexico and declared '¡Ya basta!' - 'Enough!' - to 500 years of colonialism, racism, exploitation, oppression, and genocide. As elites in Canada, the United States, and Mexico celebrated the coming into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) declared war against this 500 year old trajectory toward oblivion, one that they said was most recently reincarnated in the form of neoliberal capitalist globalization that NAFTA represented. While the Zapatista uprising would have a profound impact upon the socio-political fabric of Chiapas its effects would be felt far beyond the borders of Mexico. At a moment when state-sponsored socialism had all but vanished from the global political landscape and other familiar elements of the left appeared utterly demoralized and defeated in the face of neoliberal capitalism's global ascendance, the Zapatista uprising would spark an unexpected and powerful new wave of radical socio-political action transnationally. Through an exploration of the Zapatista movement's origins, history, structure, aims, political philosophy and practice, and future directions this book provides a critical, comprehensive, and accessible overview of one of the most important rebel groups in recent history.
'Rebels' is an exciting and innovative new series looking at contemporary rebel groups and their place in global politics. Written by leading experts, the books serve as definitive introductions to the individual organizations, whilst seeking to place them within a broader geographical and political framework. They examine the origins, ideology and future direction of each group, whilst posting such questions as 'When does a 'rebel' political movement become a 'terrorist' organization?' and 'What are the social-economic drivers behind political violence?'.
Provocative and original, the series is essential reading for anyone interested in how rebel groups operate today.
'Since their appearance fifteen years ago, Mexico's modern day Zapatistas have been a powerful, compelling, inspiring enigma - and a Rorschach test of sorts for scholars, activists, and policy makers alike. After millions of words - more than a few of their own - exploring and explaining the Zapatistas, Alex Khasnabish's smart and accessible book perceptively explicates their origins, deftly outlines their philosophy and practice - not least the move beyond bullets to words and actions, and astutely analyzes their national and transnational impact. Khasnabish's text provides our best lens yet on the twenty-first century's most intriguing revolutionaries.' - Eric Selbin, Professor of Political Science & University Scholar, Southwestern University
'A remarkable achievement! Alex Khasnabish has written the clearest, most comprehensive account to-date of the origins, innovations, and significance of the Zapatista movement, on local, national, and global scales. This is a must-read for students, scholars, activists, and anyone who believes another world is truly possible.' - Jeffrey S. Juris, Arizona State University
'This book is a unique testament to the political creativity of the Zapatista movement that has inspired activists and scholars since the 1990s. Khasnabish convincingly demonstrates how this creativity is reflected, above all, in the Zapatistas' ability to combine and engage various levels of political activity from the local to the transnational.' - Thomas Olesen, University of Aarhus, Denmark (author of International Zapatismo: The Construction of Solidarity in the Age of Globalization)
'In this era of the Fourth World War, Khasnabish's book focuses our attention on the crucial distinction between Zapatistas and Zapatismo. Zapatistas shows how indigenous people in rebellion in the mountains of Chiapas are creatively appropriating a long-standing history of struggle that has always been transnational as well as local. From the moment when Emiliano Zapata first read Kropotkin and saw how much his people had in common with the working classes of Europe, Zapatismo has always been mythic. Not in the sense of delusion or fantasy, but as an ever-changing ground that allows people all over the world, indigenous and settlers alike, to feel the resonances between their own similar but very different situations. This book compels us to acknowledge not only that the ongoing neoliberal destruction of human communities and the life of the planet itself affects us all, but that it is up to all of us to oppose it and create alternatives to it. In addition to delivering this absolutely crucial message, Khasnabish does so in a style that is critical and analytic, but far from merely academic. It is old-time movement-based theory at its best.' - Prof Richard Day, Queen's University
Table of Contents
1. We Are the Product of 500 Years of Resistance': The Origins of Zapatismo
2. 'Everything for Everyone, Nothing for Ourselves': Zapatismo as Political Philosophy and Political Practice
3. 'Never Again a Mexico Without Us': The National Impact of Zapatismo
4. 'A World Made of Many Worlds': The Transnational Impact of Zapatismo
Conclusion: 'To Open a Crack in History'
About the Author:
Alex Khasnabish is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His first book, Zapatismo Beyond Borders: New Imaginations of Political Possibility (2008), focuses on the reasons for and consequences of the transnational resonance of Zapatismo and the links between radical political imaginations and global anti-capitalism. Khasnabish's current research is an extension of this project, focusing upon anti-capitalist action, anarchist organizing, imagination, and alternative-building in the north of the Americas. His work has been published in ephemera, AmeriQuests, Anthropologica, Critique of Anthropology, the Globalization and Autonomy Working Paper Series, Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Politics and Culture, and Upping the Anti.
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