David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Constellations 4 (1):105-123 (1997)
This article analyzes the current political transition in México from the vantage point of civil society. It departs from a definition of the Mexican authoritarian regime, now the oldest in the world, as a model of fusion between the state, the market and society. The crisis of the developmental model and the regime’s increasing inability to incorporate the new social actors created by industrialization and urbanization opened up a long period of political crisis whose main content was a process of societal differentiation. The failure of President Salinas’ project of neo‐liberal reconstruction of the authoritarian regime deepened the crisis and led to the formation and consolidation of strong national political parties, the beginning of a still unequal, but effective electoral competition and especially to the emergence of several civic groups that are struggling for a democratization that goes beyond electoral politics. The collective identity as civil society of these civic groups has been instrumental for the critique of the regime’s gradualist strategy of “permenent electoral reform”
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