"Transitions from authoritarian to democratic governments can provide ripe scenarios for the emergence of new, insurgent political actors and causes. In peaceful transitions such movements may become influential political players and gain representation for previously neglected interests and sectors of the population. But for this to happen insurgent social movements need both opportunities for mobilization and opportunities to succeed and survive. What happens to insurgent social movements that emerge during a democratic transition but fail to achieve their goals? How influential are they? To answer these questions, Maria Inclan looks at Mexico's Zapatista movement, whose emergence she argues was caught between 'sliding doors' of mobilization opportunity. The Zapatistas were able to mobilize sympathy and support for the indigenous agenda inside and outside of the country, yet failed to achieve their goals vis-à-vis the Mexican state. Nevertheless, the movement has survived and sustained its autonomy despite lacking legal recognition. Inclan examines the vitality of the movement during various tests of the emergent democracy (during more competitive elections, under various political parties, and amid various repressive measures). She also looks at state responsiveness to movement demands and the role of transnational networks in the movement's survival. She extends these into a more general test of the quality of young democracies, to identify the extent to which emerging political forces incorporate dissident and previously excluded political actors into democratic polities"--
Democratic transitions and political opportunities -- Opportunities for mobilization : Openings, elites, allies, and threats -- Opportunities for success : negotiations, elites, and allies -- Opportunities for survival : transnational solidarity networks and discourse framing -- Zapatistas between sliding doors of opportunities
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