Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Democracy and neo-liberalism in Mexican politics (1988-2006) : a discursive approach
Author: Montaño, Emilio Allier
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The central aim of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of electoral and democratic discursive practices during the installation and reproduction of the neo-liberal regime in Mexico. Specifically, the thesis aims to clarify our comprehension of the ideological and political significance of Mexico's electoral and democratic dynamics over a twenty year period from the late 1980s to the mid 2000s. The thesis' main contention is that these discursive dynamics have a paradoxical role. On the one hand, they serve to alleviate particular political and social tensions. On the other, they preserve and legitimise an exclusionary politico- economic hegemony. The majority of scholars see this period as a crucial period of democratic transition and consolidation. Other scholars have made some important advances in our understanding by offering a nuanced and complex picture of this period in terms of the concrete economic struggles taking place in Mexico. Yet such efforts miss the exclusionary and legitimating effects of these practices, thereby weakening the explanatory dimension of these interventions. Drawing on the articulation of the Political Discourse Theory and Lacanian psychoanalysis I deploy a "logics" approach to explain these effects. This theory offers an important theoretical framework comprising three basic units of explanation: social, political, and fantasmatic logic. Contrary to the dominant thrust of the literature, I suggest: (1) that the most prominent economic and political changes during this period underpinned a shift to a neo-liberal economic regime, not primarily or only a transformation to a democratic polis; (2) that calls for electoral and democratic reform became crucial elements in wider, powerful political logics that helped institute, defend, and consolidate neo-liberal social norms; and (3) that the affective energy invested in the electoral and democratic dynamics legitimised and justified an exclusionary regime of practices. The thesis is structured around a qualitative methodological approach to a handful of key events in the recent political history of Mexico: the 1988 elections, the 1994-1996 period of political and economic turmoil and the 2000 and 2006 electoral process. I argue that viewing this crucial twenty- year period as a function of logics not only assists in the task of offering a more satisfying characterisation of Mexico's recent electoral and democratic practices, it also makes more visible, and helps us better assess, its ideological, political and economic import.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available