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The reconfiguration of the state in an era of neoliberal globalism: State violence and indigenous responses in the Costa Chica-Montaña of Guerrero, Mexico.

By L.P. Parra-Rosales


The adoption of the neo-liberal model in the mid-1980s has forced the governing elites to\ud reconfigure the Mexican State. However, the consolidation of a neoliberal State continues to be\ud incomplete and it has been problematic to fully integrated the Mexican economy in the global\ud market due to the increasing organized crime, the dismantling of previous post-revolutionary\ud control mechanisms, and the growing mobilisation of organised indigenous opposition ranging\ud from the peaceful obstruction of hydroelectric mega-projects in their territories to armed\ud struggle.\ud In view of the State crisis, this thesis argues that there has been a shift in the system of control\ud mechanisms of the State that is leaning towards a more recurrent use of open violence to\ud implement its neo-liberal State project.\ud From a theoretical perspective, the research proposes an innovative approach to understanding\ud the formation of the post-revolutionary State, which transcends the State violence dichotomy\ud established between the ´corporatist´ and the ´critical´ approaches in the contemporary\ud literature. The research highlights the wide spectrum of control mechanisms from hegemonic\ud domination to violence used by the governing elites to compensate the unfinished State\ud formation process in order to maintain socio-political stability without profound structural\ud changes. It explores the enhanced tendency of State violence to replace incorporation in Statesociety\ud relations since the efforts to restructure the economy from the 1980s onwards. The thesis\ud analyses how this tendency has grown particularly in response to indigenous movements in the\ud South of Mexico.\ud The argument is substantiated empirically with two case studies undertaken in the sub-region of\ud Costa Chica-Montaña of Guerrero with data from 79 semi-structured interviews with a wide\ud range of social and political actors, and participant observation in ten indigenous communities.\ud The case studies explore the different State control mechanisms used to advance the State\ud formation model in the post revolutionary period; the impact of the crisis of those mechanisms\ud in the sub-region; the violent resistance of local bosses to the loss of power, and the multiples\ud indigenous responses to the implementation of neoliberal policies in their territories. This\ud research also includes a comparative study to explain some factors that strengthen indigenous\ud articulations, as well as their limits in an era of neoliberal globalisation.\ud One of the most important research findings is that neoliberalism has further weakened the\ud ¿civilianisation¿ power of the State to deal peacefully with civil society sectors, particularly\ud with indigenous peoples, while it has strengthened its ¿centralised-coercive¿ power to carry out\ud the imposed State model. Another finding is that the indigenous initiatives that have reinvented\ud themselves through a new version of their practices and broader alliances have consolidated\ud their alternative models. In contrast, the indigenous responses that have reproduced their\ud traditions have failed.Marie Curie-Humcricon Fellowshi

Topics: State formation, State violence, Indigenous peoples, Neo-liberalism, Globalisation, Guerrero, Mexico
Publisher: Department of Peace Studies
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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