Synopses & Reviews
When Vicente Fox was elected Mexico’s president in 2000, the world’s most enduring twentieth-century authoritarian regime finally came to an end. In this book Paul Haber explains how urban popular movements contributed to such a historic transition.
In the 1960s Mexico’s urban poor, effectively incorporated into institutionalized forms of clientelism and cooptation, were perceived as passive and acquiescent. Their situation changed during the 1970s, Haber shows, as popular movements—led largely by young people inspired by the revolutionary ideals of Mexico’s 1960s student movement—took the first steps toward mobilizing the urban poor in what would develop into the full-scale political protests of the 1980s.
When Mexico’s economic crisis came in the early 1980s, urban popular movements were in a position to play a major role in the growing democratic opposition. Haber, using a creative blend of ethnography and policy analysis, traces this history on a national level and with detailed reference to two key organizations, the Comité de Defensa Popular of Durango and the Asamblea de Barrios of Mexico City. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of Mexico’s most important social leaders saw new opportunities in electoral politics, and the transformation from social movement to party politics began. Haber’s study closely follows the urban dimensions of this history and spells out its implications not only for the urban poor but also for Mexico’s nascent democracy.
About the Author
Paul Lawrence Haber is Professor of Political Science at the University of Montana.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Acronyms
Introduction: Introducing the Terrain of Struggle
1. Theory and Method for a Phenomenological and Institutional Study of Social Movements
2. Mexico at the Zenith of the 1980s Protest Cycle
3. The Seesaw Political Economy of Recovery, Crisis, and Democratic Transition (1988–2000)
4. The Comité de Defensa Popular de Francisco Villa de Durango
5. The Asamblea de Barrios of Mexico City
6. Comparisons and Conclusions