Power and Voice in Rural Mexico
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About the author
Jonathan Fox was born in New York City and studied politics at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Professor in the interdisciplinary Latin American and Latino Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has published widely on issues of development policy, democratization, institutional reform and migrant civil society. He began carrying out field research in Mexico in 1982, and has also worked in Brazil,Central America, and the Philippines. He works with a diverse array of public interest groups, development agencies, social organizations, and private foundations.
How can the seeds of accountability ever grow in authoritarian environments? Embedding accountability into the state is an inherently uneven, partial and contested process. Campaigns for public accountability often win limited concessions at best, but they can leave cracks in the system that serve as handholds for subsequent efforts to open up the state to public scrutiny.This book explores the how civil society "thickens" by comparing two decades of rural citizens' struggles to hold the Mexican state accountable, exploring both change and continuity before, during, and after national electoral turning points. The book addresses how much power-sharing really happens in policy innovations that include participatory social and environmental councils, citizen oversight of elections, local government social investment funds, participation reforms in World Bankprojects, community-managed food programs, as well as new social oversight and public information access reforms. Meanwhile, efforts to exercise voice unfold at the same time as rural citizens consider their exit options, as millions migrate to the US, where many have since come together in a new migrantcivil society.Since explanations of electoral change do not account for how people actually experience the state, this book concludes that new analytical frameworks are needed to understand "transitions to accountability." This involves unpacking the interaction between participation, transparency and accountability.Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Official Fellow, Nuffield College,University of Oxford.
; December 2007
451 pages; ISBN 9780191526107Read online
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Title: Accountability Politics
Author: Jonathan A. Fox
- Academic > Public Affairs > Public Affairs > Canada, Latin America, etc.
- Academic > Public Affairs > Public Affairs > Canada, Latin America, etc. > Canada
- Academic > Public Affairs > Public Affairs > Canada, Latin America, etc. > Mexico
- Academic > Public Affairs > Political institutions and public administration > General. Comparative government > Political rights. Political participation
- Academic > Political Science > Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.) > Canada
- Academic > Political Science > Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.) > Mexico
- Political Science > Democracy
- Social Science > Special Groups
In the press
insightful...Accountability Politics introduces a new analytic framework that takes valuable steps toward recapturing aspects of politics in the developing world that have been overlooked by far too many for far too long. As such, it would be unfortunate if Fox's work were read only by those interested in Latin America or the rural poor - its potential application is far wider