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Revista mexicana de ciencias políticas y sociales

versión impresa ISSN 0185-1918


AGUILAR RIVERA, José Antonio. Great Expectations: Mexican Democracy and its Discontents. Rev. mex. cienc. polít. soc [online]. 2014, vol.59, n.222, pp.19-50. ISSN 0185-1918.

There is no doubt that democracy in México has fallen short of expectations: it has not increased social and economic equality. Few people deem their participation in politics is now more effective than before, the elected government often fails to meet citizens' demands, and some regions of the country are seemingly under the control of violent drug cartels. These faults certainly fuel the voters' discontent with the democratic regime. The aim of this paper though is to focus on other less apparent sources of the existing intense political dissatisfaction. Mexicans are unsatisfied with their democratic government not only because it has not provided them with the social goods they are realistically or not expecting from democracy. They are also unhappy due to the perceived gap between an idealized notion of democracy and the way the existing democratic institutions actually work, as an odd ahistorical image of democracy has been constructed. The major claim of this work is that the critical standard of democracy assumed by Mexicans is inaccurate. It will be argued that this ideological misconception has had pernicious effects, as it has nurtured unreasonable expectations and has inhibited Mexicans from considering feasible reforms. It will be also examined in particular the role played by the pursuit of equity.

Palabras llave : equity; equality; democracy; expectations; elites.

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