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The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship: Lessons from Mexico


  • Fox, Jonathan A


Electoral competition is necessary but not sufficient for the consolidation of democratic regimes; not all elections are free and fair; nor do they necessarily lead to actual civilian rule or respect for human rights. If there is more to democracy than elections, then there is more to democratization than the transition to elections. But in spite of the rich literature on the emergence of electoral competition, the dynamics of political transitions toward respect for other fundamental democratic rights is still not well understood. Political democracy is defined here in classic procedural terms: free and fair electoral contestation for governing offices based on universal suffrage, guaranteed freedoms of association and expression, accountability through the rule of law, and civilian control of the military. Although analyses of democratization typically acknowledge that these are all necessary criteria, most examine only electoral competition. This study, however, develops a framework for explaining progress toward another necessary condition for democratization respect for associational autonomy, which allows citizens to organize in defense of their own interests and identities without fear of external intervention or punishment.

Suggested Citation

  • Fox, Jonathan A, 1994. "The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship: Lessons from Mexico," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt4n4746hk, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt4n4746hk

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    Cited by:

    1. Albertus, Michael & Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto & Magaloni, Beatriz & Weingast, Barry R., 2016. "Authoritarian Survival and Poverty Traps: Land Reform in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 154-170.
    2. Brown, L. David & Ashman, Darcy, 1996. "Participation, social capital, and intersectoral problem solving: African and Asian cases," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 1467-1479, September.
    3. Ackerman, John, 2004. "Co-Governance for Accountability: Beyond "Exit" and "Voice"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 447-463, March.
    4. repec:foi:wpaper:2010_13 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jenny Schuetz, 2008. "Are Mortgage Loans the New Toasters? The Roles of Housing Demand and Political Patronage in Mexican Housing Finance Author-Name: Jenny Schuetz," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 11(2), pages 1-31.
    6. Fox, Jonathan A & García Jiménez, Carlos & Haight, Libby, 2009. "Rural Democratization in Mexico’s Deep South: Grassroots Right-to-Know Campaigns in Guerrero," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3nv6s088, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    7. Serra, Teresa & Poli, Elena, 2015. "Shadow prices of social capital in rural India, a nonparametric approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 240(3), pages 892-903.
    8. Amrita Dillon & SUMON MAJUMDAR & SHARUN W. MUKAND, 2015. "Institution Building and Political Accountability," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(4), pages 504-527, August.
    9. Kent Eaton & Kai Kaiser & Paul J. Smoke, 2011. "The Political Economy of Decentralization Reforms : Implications for Aid Effectiveness," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2336.
    10. repec:foi:wpaper:2010_14 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Mitlin, Diana & Hickey, Sam & Bebbington, Anthony, 2007. "Reclaiming Development? NGOs and the Challenge of Alternatives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1699-1720, October.
    12. Yuriy O. Gaivoronskiy, 2015. "The Influence of Political Competition on the Efficiency of the Regional Executives in Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 28/PS/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    13. Fox, Jonathan A, 1995. "The Cultural Implications of Democracy, Empowerment and Citizenship," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt4ws1766b, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    14. Robert Boutilier, 2009. "Globalization and the Careers of Mexican Knowledge Workers: An Exploratory Study of Employer and Worker Adaptations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(2), pages 319-333, September.
    15. Herrera, Veronica, 2014. "Does Commercialization Undermine the Benefits of Decentralization for Local Services Provision? Evidence from Mexico’s Urban Water and Sanitation Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 16-31.
    16. World Bank, 2004. "State-Society Synergy for Accountability : Lessons for the World Bank," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14944.
    17. Yuriko Takahashi, "undated". "Clientelism beyond Borders? The Political-Electoral Reform of Extending Voting Rights Abroad in Mexico," Working Papers 1618, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    18. Lisa Ann Richey, 2012. "Counselling Citizens and Producing Patronage: AIDS Treatment in South African and Ugandan Clinics," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(4), pages 823-845, July.
    19. Ana Isabel Lopez Garcia, 2016. "State Healthcare and the Impact of Remittances on Turnout in Mexico," Remittances Review, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 1(1), pages 65-104, October.
    20. Franco, Jennifer C., 2008. "Peripheral Justice? Rethinking Justice Sector Reform in the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1858-1873, October.


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