1 In viewing ]uchitan as a site of alternative forms of development, I am indebted
to Arturo Escobar for his critique of the Western discourse of development and
his suggestions for reimagining encounters between Western and "Third World"
locations and cultures (1995).
2 The Popular Defense Committee of Durango
achieved such recogni-
tion at approximately the same time as
early in the Salinas administration
(Haber 1993). The armed Zapatista movement in Chiapas seems to have gained a
similar status, though its survival continues to be threatened by military occupa-
tion, paramilitary violence, and government intransigence.
3 The evolution of the scholarly literature on Mexican politics is set out in detail
in chapter 1.
4 The vast majority of ]uchitecos are bilingual, and I conducted these interviews
in Spanish. While living in ]uchitan, I also learned basic Zapotec, which I spoke
in social situations.
Theorizing Power and Regimes
Before recent transitions to democracy, this was seen to occur in an "authoritar-
ian" and "corporatist" fashion (Collier 1979; Malloy
977a; O'Donnell 1977;
Schmitter 1974; Stepan 1978). The more recent literature on transitions to de-
mocracy in Latin America has continued to focus on the center and on narrowly
political negotiations and conflicts (Karl 1990; O'Donnell and Schmitter 1986;
Schmitter and Karl 1993). While it illuminates the nuances of elite bargaining
and acknowledges some of the limits of existing democracies, this literature
nevertheless tends to evaluate democracy in terms of national political processes
and explicitly political actors.
2 The current regime has been in place for more than sixty years, longer than the
vast majority of Third World and European regimes.
3 By "center," I refer simultaneously to a place (Mexico City), an institutional ap-
paratus of power and decision making, and a set of "national" cultural discourses.