Democracy amidst Uncertainty: Representative Claims and Democratic Contestation in Mexico

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC18 Political Sociology (host committee)
RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change

Language: English


Deficient democracies are regimes where democratic practices and meanings are contested amidst institutional uncertainty. Different agents promote different conceptions of political inclusion and responsiveness, and are accountable to different interests. In many cases, some agents demand broadening the scope of democracy and deepening its reach. They might demand competitive elections, programmatic parties, forums for public deliberation, or participative innovations. However, in many other cases, social and political agents defend rules and policies that protect vested interests, without being fully accountable to the public or the rule of law. They deploy both legitimate and illegitimate resources to entrench their power and influence. They may recur as well to the arbitrary use of state or to social violence, paying lip service to formal institutions and endorsing the democratic discourse.

Mexico constitutes a relevant case of a deficient democracy where formal rules are weakly enforced and strategically manipulated. It is also a case where different social and political agents demand strengthening democratic institutions and practices, claiming to represent the public while contesting rules and policies. This session proposes discussing specific episodes or cases in Mexico where different agents claim to promote or protect democracy in contexts of institutional uncertainty. The main goal is analyzing how agents in asymmetric positions claim to represent public interests, demanding inclusion, responsiveness, accountability, or other democratic ideals. Each case study should help to assess how processes develop, how representative claims emerge, how conflict is overcome, and how the prevailing status quo is challenged or reinforced.

Session Organizers:
Cristina PUGA, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mexico and Alejandro MONSIVAÍS, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico
Michael SAWARD, University of Warwick, UK, United Kingdom
Oral Presentations
Institutional Failures of Mexican Democracy: The Electoral Regulatory System
Godofredo VIDAL DE LA ROSA, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Xochimilco, Mexico
Claiming (again) to Represent Otherwise: Morena As Not-the-Prd, Which Emerged As Not- the-PRI
Fernando CASTANOS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico; Alejandro MONSIVAÍS, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico
Scope and Limitations of Institutional Innovations in Mexico. Reproduction of Political Inequality?
Laura MONTES DE OCA BARRERA, Institute of Social Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
The Claim to Representation in Associative Systems
Matilde LUNA, UNAM, Mexico; Jose VELASCO, UNAM, Mexico
Independent Candidacies in Mexico: Discontent, Citizen Representation or Democratic Deficiency.
Rene VALDIVIEZO-SANDOVAL, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico; Rene VALDIVIEZO-ISSA, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico
Distributed Papers
The Dispute for Equal Marriage in Mexico. a Longitudinal Field View
Carlos MARTINEZ, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Mexico
From Rescuing Earthquake Victims to Reconstructing Mexican Polity
Jorge CADENA-ROA, UNAM, Mexico; Cristina PUGA, Autonomous National University of Mexico, Mexico, Mexico