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Campesino and Indigenous Social Organizations Facing Democratic Transition in Mexico, 1938-2006

Hubert C. de Grammont, Horacio Mackinlay and Richard Stoller
Latin American Perspectives
Vol. 36, No. 4, PEASANT MOVEMENTS IN LATIN AMERICA: LOOKING BACK, MOVING AHEAD (July 2009), pp. 21-40
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20684656
Page Count: 20
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Campesino and Indigenous Social Organizations Facing Democratic Transition in Mexico, 1938-2006
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Abstract

The relations between Mexican campesino and indigenous organizations, on the one hand, and political parties and the state, on the other, have been characterized by a shift associated with the crisis of corporatist representation and the transition to democracy from a "political" to a "social-political" or a "social" approach. In the political framework, organizations are subordinated to political parties, whereas in the social-political framework both organizations and political parties enjoy autonomy of action and in the social framework only the action of organized civil society is the bearer of change. During the period of transition to democracy, organizations of the first two frameworks chose to formulate their demands and activities within the representative democratic system, while those of the third framework pursued the design of a new society and disavowed the existing political system. While the latter do not lack for arguments in support of their rejection of party politics, they fail to take into account that their survival depends on the existence of a democratic system, and their dismissal of opportunities to create institutions within the system brings them into conflict with other progressive forces.

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