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Courting Democracy in Mexico
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  • 14 tables
  • Page extent: 376 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.72 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 324/.0972
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: JL1292 .E36 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Elections--Mexico--History--20th century
    • Political parties--Mexico--History--20th century
    • Election law--Mexico
    • Democratization--Mexico

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521820011 | ISBN-10: 0521820014)

This book documents Mexico's gradual transition to democracy, written from a perspective which pits opposition activists' post-electoral conflicts against their usage of regime-constructed electoral courts at the centre of the democratization process. It addresses the puzzle of why, during key moments of Mexico's 27-year democratic transition, opposition parties failed to use autonomous electoral courts established to mitigate the country's often violent post-electoral disputes, despite formal guarantees of court independence from the Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI), Mexico's ruling party for 71 years (preceeding the watershed 2000 presidential elections). Drawing on hundreds of author interviews throughout Mexico over a three-year period and extensive archival research, the author explores choices by the rightist National Action Party (PAN) and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) between post-electoral conflict resolution via electoral courts and via traditional routes - mobilization and bargaining with the PRI-state.

• A comprehensive book-length treatment of Mexico's transition to democracy • Rather than focusing on elites in Mexico City, the book also focuses on locally directed social movements from Mexico's regions • Interesting approach to establishing democratic rule of law by studying the success and failure of courts arbitrating post-electoral conflicts


Figures and tables; Acknowledgements; 1. Electoral courts and actor compliance: opposition-authoritarian relations and protracted transitions; 2. Ties that bind and even constrict: why authoritarians tolerate electoral reforms; 3. Mexico's national electoral justice success: from oxymoron to legal norm in just over a decade; 4. Mexico's local electoral justice failures: gubernatorial (s)election beyond the shadows of the law; 5. The gap between law and practice: institutional failure and opposition success in postelectoral conflicts, 1989–2000; 6. The National Action Party: dilemmas of rightist oppositions defined by authoritarian collusion; 7. The party of the democratic revolution: from postelectoral movements to electoral competitors; 8. Dedazo from the center to finger pointing from the periphery: PRI hard-liners challenge Mexico's electoral institutions; 9. A quarter century of 'Mexicanization': lessons from a protracted transition; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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