Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 8, No. 1


An Examination of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and New Political Participation 

Iain Watson


Abstract: The mobilisation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) on New Years Day 1994 attracted considerable attention from those concerned with the democratic deficits of neoliberal globalisation and the increasing sense of individual powerlessness as states synchronise economic and public policy with the ideas and institutions of global capital. The paper argues that as a critical social movement the EZLN explores the meaning and practice of economic, political and social democracy. The EZLN practises a politics of radical democracy which incorporates a variety of strategies for enriching the democratic project..However the EZLNs democratic project has little in common with the inclusive democracy project and yet the EZLNs project of radical democracy does cultivate a useful way of rethinking the site and nature of democracy in an age of globalisation when such institutions seem so increasingly inept.