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In the last two decades of the twentieth century, many countries in Latin America freed themselves from the burden of their authoritarian pasts and developed democratic political systems. At the same time, they began a process of shifting many governmental responsibilities from the national to the state and local levels. Much has been written about how decentralization has fostered democratization, but informal power relationships inherited from the past have complicated the ways in which citizens voice their concerns and have undermined the accountability of elected officials. In this book, Andrew Selee seeks to illuminate the complex linkages between informal and formal power by comparing how they worked in three Mexican cities. The process of decentralization is shown to have been intermediated by existing spheres of political influence, which in turn helped determine how much the institution of multiparty democracy in the country could succeed in bringing democracy “closer to home.”
List of Figures
1. Introduction: The Paradoxes of Local Empowerment
Part 1 State Formation and Political Change
2. Centralization and Informal Power
3. Decentralization and Democratization
Part 2 A Tale of Three Cities
4. Chilpancingo: The Continuation of Corporatism?
5. Tijuana: Liberal Democracy?
6. Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl: Social Movement Democracy?
Part 3 Conclusions
7. Pathways of Democratic Change