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Title: Linking security, democracy and stability : institutionalising Mexico's political party system
Author: Espinoza Pedraza, Lisdey
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6950
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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In 2000 the 71-year rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the longest period of single party rule in the world, came to end, with it appearing that Mexico was entering a more democratic phase of its history. The change of regime did not however result in the destruction of the PRI or its institutions. For this reason, the democratisation process in Mexico has been postponed for years. Mexico's fairly new democracy still faces many of the problems of the past, which have prevented the country from consolidating its democracy. This dissertation tries to identify the areas which have been important to the democratisation process in Mexico, and how these areas function today. It does so from an historical perspective since much of today's problems have roots in the past. The past is then connected to contemporary Mexico. Mexico bears the burden of its history and this has been central to the delay of the consolidation of democracy. This dissertation deals with Mexico's transition to democracy, and its problems of consolidation by looking at the past and current state of the civil society, political society, and the rule of law. As a framework for the dissertation, a transition model developed by Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, called the five arenas is used, along with different typologies of democracy and political parties. The existence of a strong, and fully functional political party system is crucial for the consolidation of democracy; this dissertation explores the evolution of the political party system under a hegemonic party rule of 71 years, and its later evolution to a more pluralistic, yet, not fully functional system during the 1990s and 2000s. Undemocratic electoral practices of the past under the hegemonic party system, have resulted in a weak political party system characterised by the absence of strong grassroots associations among citizens, the lack of clearly-defined ideological platforms, and their link to a charismatic leader rather than the strength of their founding principles. Parties that had been traditionally relegated to opposition for 71 years have now had the possibility to attain significant political power. Once faced with such a possibility, former opposition parties have realised that as a result of the lack of highly qualified leaders they have recruited former politicians from the ranks of the PRI. Undemocratic practices that were thought to have been exclusive to the hegemonic party have now spread to almost all other political parties in Mexico, further complicating the successful consolidation of democracy. The absence of unity in Mexico's political system created a similar condition in the criminal arena as criminal organisations started to mushroom. There has been a systematic failure of past and current administrations to quell violence, re-establish the state's presence, carry out significant state reform and to introduce functional political institutions. The link between political instability, weakened political parties and the surge in violence has often been overlooked. Each of those areas is usually dealt with independently. This dissertation demonstrates how a weakened political party system, non-functional political institutions, prevalence of undemocratic practices along with the lack of a substantial state reform contribute to the worsening of security and undermine the state's legitimacy. Corruption and undemocratic practices therefore constitute a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law as they undermine people´s trust in the political system, institutions, and leadership.
Supervisor: Bain, Mervyn J. Sponsor: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political parties ; Democratization ; Democracy