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Slides for Sociology W3480: Extra Lecture Revolutions, Social Movements, and Contentious Politics Columbia College Spring 2007 Prepared by Charles Tilly and Ernesto Castañeda send questions to

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Slides for Sociology W3480: Extra LectureRevolutions, Social Movements, and Contentious Politics Columbia College Spring 2007Prepared by Charles Tilly andErnesto Castañedasend questions


Extra lecture:What Happened in Oaxaca?Triangulating Outside Witness Accountsto Analyze the Contentious Politicsin Oaxaca, Mexico

Nayeli Chavez-Geller, UNIVISION

Rene Ramos, MPA Student SIPA Columbia

Ivania de la Cruz Orozco, MPA Student SIPA ColumbiaManuela Garza, The New School and Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca 

Ernesto Castañeda-Tinoco, PhD Student Department of Sociology, Columbia

Leslie A. Martino, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, CUNY, The Graduate Center

Thursday April 12th, 2007


Organized by

Mexican Initiative

Co-sponsored by the

Institute of Latin American Studies, LASA-SIPA, and ALAS-TC.


Brief overview on Oaxaca

Completion rate of primary

education below88%

Less than 87% of women assisted

by a doctor during labor

Infant mortality rate is above 30/1000 births

30% of the population lack access to running water

40% of the population live in houses with no sewage

7% of the population live in houses with no electricity

There have been no Governors from opposition parties thus far


Los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio en México: Informe de Avance 2006



chronology oaxaca 2006
Chronology Oaxaca 2006
  • May 22:
    • Primary and Secondary school teachers from all over the state arrive to Oaxaca City to ask for wage increases (as they often do year after year)
    • State Governor offers only a third of what they ask for
    • Teachers block the access to government buildings, stores, gas stations, airport and main entrances to the city
  • June 14:
    • Governor withdraws offer and attempts to end the strike by using public force
    • The attack fails and professors are joined by NGOs and other social actors
    • Creation of the APPO
  • July:
    • PRI loses 9 out of 11 National Congress positions to the PRD
    • Implications: budget negotiations and political control
  • October 27:
    • At least 3 people are killed during a shooting, including journalist Bradley Roland Will
  • October 29-30:
    • Federal Police enters Oaxaca City

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)


What Happened in Oaxaca?Triangulating Outside Witness Accounts to Analyze the Contentious Politics in Oaxaca, Mexico

Ernesto Castañeda

mobilized teachers watching the world cup
Mobilized Teachers Watching the World Cup

Photos by Ernesto Castañeda June 10-18th, 2006

teachers in the public plaza
Teachers in the Public Plaza

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

during police repression

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

escalation of demands and polarization
Escalation of Demands and Polarization

Increase in political gratifies across the city

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

social situation in oaxaca
Social Situation in Oaxaca
  • Important state/society divide.
  • Previous patronage and corporative relations disrupted.
  • Generalized discontent among organized groups.
  • Growing polarization between mobilized citizens, and small business owners, tourism workers and non-mobilized citizens.

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

appo s programmatic goals
APPO’s Programmatic Goals
  • Scholarships,
  • Better school infrastructure,
  • Salary increases
  • The resignation of the governor Ulises Ruiz so, as in the 18th century, the main target is not an abstract state but a concrete figure who is supposed to hold power (Tilly 2005, Foucault 1975).

APPO’s self-declared goals also include:

  • a real democratic system, and
  • ideological elements such as the struggle against capitalism, imperialism and fascism.

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

appo repertoire
APPO Repertoire
  • Extended sit-ins and camping downtown.
  • Marches, demonstrations, and rallies.
  • Pamphlets, flyers, radio programs, CDs.
  • Members generally unarmed.
  • Few violent attacks against state agents except for self-defense.
  • No civilian targets.
  • Have set fire to police vehicles and have entered public and private buildings that represent state power or large capital.

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

revolutionary situation in oaxaca
Revolutionary Situation in Oaxaca?
  • contenders or coalitions of contenders advancing exclusive competing claims to control of the state or some segment of it: mobilization process.
    • YES (to an extent but later divisions would appear and most are for conducting changes through conventional electoral politics)

2) commitment to those claims by a significant segment of the citizenry: mobilization plus diffusion

    • YES within APPO but important opposition by other civil society groups specially small businesses and tourism industry would appear

3) incapacity or unwillingness of rulers to suppress the

alternative coalition and/or commitment to its claims: ruler-subject interaction

    • No. As of 2008 they have been able to placate the movement and the Governor still holds his post.

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

revolutionary outcomes table 7 2 tilly 2006 regimes and repertoires
Revolutionary Outcomes (Table 7-2 Tilly 2006. Regimes and Repertoires.)
  • defections of regime members
  • acquisition of armed force by revolutionary coalitions
  • neutralization or defection of the regime’s armed force
  • control of the state apparatus by members of revolutionary coalition
  • transfer of state power to new ruling coalition.

So far for Oaxaca the answer to these questions is NO

(Tilly & Castañeda 2007)

anti appo mobilizations

Anti-APPO mobilizations

Source: “El Imparcial”

references and sources
References and sources:
  • Michel Foucault. Discipline & Punish. 1975.
  • Charles Tilly. 2004. Social Movements. Paradigm.
  • Charles Tilly. 2005. Popular Contention in Great Britain.
  • Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow. 2007. Contentious Politics. Paradigm.
  • Charles Tilly. 2006. Regimes and Repertoires.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Charles Tilly. 2007. Democracy. Cambridge.