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Mexico City's democratic transition under the leadership of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and the relationship between the social and the political

by Wilson-Forsberg, Stacey

Abstract (Summary)
Ahhough some authors still contend that urban popular movements in Mexico are hindered by the hegemony of the nation's ruhg political regime, a decrease in hegemony in the 1990s has given these movements more freedom and power. Most of the urban popular movements in Mexico City are of a "neighbourhood association" type in that they are concerned with the collective provision of social services to a particuiar area or group. Provision of these seMces typically involves the movement generating demands and either setting out to meet those needs themselves or putting pressure on state agencies to do so. Because state agencies in Mexico have historically been dominated by one niling political party -the PM- they have been known to rnonopolize public resources and trade them for votes, a practice hown as "clientelismn. To have a more unrestrained access to these resources, the urban popular movernents, therefore, often move into the terrain of demanding citizen rights, the most general being democratization of the politid system. Given that the " crusade " of Cuauhtémoc Chdenas over the past ten years has been for a democratic transition in Mexico, and given that bis party uisists that it is against the practice of clientelism in politics, many urban popular movements in Mexico City have formed relationships with this party. This study examines the relationship that has developed between the urban popular movements and Cirdenas' centre-left political party in Mexico City. The study contends that the relationship between dan popular movements and the PRD was a crucial factor in the election of Cuauhtémoc CBrdenas to the position of head of government of Mexico City. The 1997election was, in fact, in rnaay ways a repeat of the presidentid election of 1988 in which urban popular movements provided crucial support and impetus to Cblenas' electoral mjority in the capital. The study Mer wntends that these han popular movements have been compromising their autonomy as part of civil society by fonning a relationship with the PRD, but that tbis is not necessarily a bad thing because involvement in centreleft politics may be a necessary requirement for the incorporation of these groups into a broder political rnobilization around a programme for a democratic transition in Mexico City. CNC CNOP CON- COPEVI CTM CUD FDN Confèderacion Nacional de Campesinos (National Codederation of Campesinos) Confederacion Nacional de OrganizacionesPopulares (National Codederation of Popular Organizatiom) Coordinadora Nacional del Movimiento Urbano Popular (Nationai CoorninatingGroup of the Urban Popdar Movement) Centro Operacioaal de Vivienda y Poblarniento (the Operational Centre for housing and Population), Confederacion de Trabajadores de Mexiw (Worker's Confideration of Mexico) Coordinadora Unica de Damnifiutdos (The Victims' [of the earthcpke of 1985) Coordinathg Cornmittee) Frente Demodtico Nacional (The National Democratic Front)
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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