"We are all Government: Zapatista Political Community. Contexts, Challenges, and Prospects"

  • Martha Areli Ramirez Sanchez

Student thesis: Phd


The University of Manchester"We are all Government: Zapatista Political Community. Contexts, Challenges, and Prospects"Martha Areli Ramirez SanchezPhD. in Social Anthropology July, 2012Abstract:This thesis demonstrates how, through diverse daily life practices, a Zapatista community, referred to here as La Humanidad, creates a model of autonomy in the Mexican State of Chiapas. Based on ethnographic information, this study explores the meanings that this community attributes to practices and notions such as Autonomy, Resistance, Memory, good government and bad government. I contend that these practices represent an attempt to confront and resist the neoliberal model of Good Governance and consequently reconstruct the social fabric, revive communitarian practices, and develop models of self-sufficiency in regard to economics, health and education. Although La Humanidad constitutes just one case study, it highlights little known aspects of what is meant by grassroots participation in regard to this particular Zapatista community, allowing us to gain deeper insight into how indigenous campesino autonomy has been constructed following the Zapatista Uprising. Furthermore, through multi-sited fieldwork, I demonstrate the variety of organisational experiences of The Good Government Council among the five different Zapatista Caracoles: Oventic, La Garrucha, Morelia, Roberto Barrios, and La Realidad. In order to contrast these Caracoles with official forms of government organization, this study also addresses aspects of the constitutional government in the Municipality of San Andres Larrainzar.
Date of Award31 Dec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJohn Gledhill (Supervisor) & Penelope Harvey (Supervisor)


  • Zapatista community, - Autonomy
  • Resistance,- Memory

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