Introduction: Anthropological perspectives on indigenous resurgence in Chiapas

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This introduction places the papers in this collection within the context of research on Chiapas since the 1994 rebellion of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and Chiapas itself into the longer-term national scenario of indigenous politics in Mexico, showing how these historically and ethnographically grounded studies contribute not only to understanding developments in Mexico and Chiapas but also to anthropological analyses of the relationships between states and regional social movements in general. Although the collection sheds new light on the EZLN itself, by advancing the ethnography of the political life of the communities in which it operates and the ethnography of the movement itself as an organization, it also serves to 'decenter' the EZLN in the anthropology of Chiapas, thereby strengthening broader perspectives on indigenous assertiveness in southern Mexico. Exploring a variety of different forms of indigenous responses to a changing world and a changing state, the papers not only chart the variation that exists within and between indigenous communities themselves but also show 'the state' itself to be far less coherent and unitary than it is often painted in activist accounts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-505
Number of pages22
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Chiapas
  • History
  • Indigenous movements
  • Mexico
  • Politics


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