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Zapatista and counter-Zapatista protests


  • María Inclán

    (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, México DF, México)


This study represents the first systematic analysis of the interactions between pro-Zapatista and counter-Zapatista protestors in Chiapas, Mexico, and the first empirical test of movement–countermovement theories in a transitional democracy. Three claims are tested: (1) movement protests trigger countermovement protest activity; (2) different political parties at different levels of government trigger movement–countermovement protest activity; and (3) victories won by one side of a conflict, viewed as procedural concessions, trigger further pro- and countermovement protest activity. These hypotheses are tested using negative binomial models and data on Zapatista-related protest activity between 1994 and 2003. The results show that: (1) movement and countermovement protests have a positive, reciprocal effect on both groups' future protest activity; (2) movement and countermovement protesting groups use the dominant political party as a target of protest. The characteristics of the electoral cycle and rise of multi-party competition at all levels of government do not have a consistent effect on protest activity; (3) granting procedural concessions to pro-movement actors generates more protest activity among both groups. However, granting procedural concessions via social programs and public works to the population irrespective of its sympathy to either side of the movement–countermovement conflict decreases movement protests and increases countermovement protests.

Suggested Citation

  • María Inclán, 2012. "Zapatista and counter-Zapatista protests," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(3), pages 459-472, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:3:p:459-472

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