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The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship: Lessons from Mexico

Jonathan Fox
World Politics
Vol. 46, No. 2 (Jan., 1994), pp. 151-184
DOI: 10.2307/2950671
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2950671
Page Count: 34
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The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship: Lessons from Mexico
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Abstract

The consolidation of democratic regimes requires the extension of political rights to the entire citizenry, but this process does not necessarily follow from electoral competition. The transition from authoritarian clientelism to respect for associational autonomy is an important dimension of democratization, unfolding unevenly through iterative cycles of conflict among authoritarian rulers, reformist elites, and autonomous social movements. This process is illustrated by a study of changing bargaining relations between rural development agencies and grassroots indigenous movements in Mexico. The results suggest that the transition from clientelism to citizenship involves three distinct patterns of state-society relations within the same nation-state: redoubts of persistent authoritarianism can coexist with both new enclaves of pluralist tolerance and large gray areas of "semiclientelism."

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