What’s Globalization Got to Do With It? Political Action and Peasant Producers in Guerrero, Mexico

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-30-2014


This article explores the relationship between globalization and Mexico’s rural producers movement by comparing the trajectories of two peasant organizations that emerged from this movement in the southern state of Guerrero. Using ethnographic materials, it highlights how producer organizations with similar economic goals, ideological orientation, and ethnic composition developed distinct approaches to political empowerment. Although both organizations mobilized indigenous farmers to market local commodities internationally, one struggled to achieve regional self-governance whereas the other lobbied for campesino interests via electoral politics. I attribute this divergence to the economic obstacles and opportunities that these organizations encountered on the road to market integration. This analysis of the variable economic “opportunity structures” that underlie collective action suggests a useful framework for conceptualizing how globalization impacts popular movements in Latin America.