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The power of civil society: An empirical analysis of its political achievements in a dangerous public sphere.

Garcia Velazquez, Jose Angel (2017) The power of civil society: An empirical analysis of its political achievements in a dangerous public sphere. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Strengthening civil society and increasing citizens’ participation in policy-making are widely discussed matters within political science, international relations and sociology. There is abundant scholarship advocating thoroughgoing collaboration between government and citizens, but the literature focusing on Mexico has become much stronger in theorising than testing. Equally, the co–production of policy has been politically debated or attempted, but too infrequently realised across the different levels of government in Mexico’s current dangerous democracy. This has given rise to various assumptions on the functioning of the normative wheels of democracy. In the middle of Mexico’s rising insecurity, this PhD thesis empirically explores the challenges for civil society’s development and citizens’ role in policy-making. By focusing on two contrasting cases of government–society collaboration in the sphere of public security, this research contributes to the understanding of policy co–production in young democracies. The core finding is that, although an elite continues to dominate the main channels of public expression and key political negotiations, an engaged citizenry is gnawing at small cracks in Mexico’s semi–clientelist system and achieving tangible influence on policy-making. The analyses that underpin this finding shed new light on the complex relationships and inter–dependencies that define the development of civil society, public sphere and governance in Mexico. Furthermore, they close down the gap between ‘politics as practice’ and ‘politics as theory’ in the study of participative practices in political agenda setting.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Politics (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Jose Angel Garcia
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2018 10:01
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2018 10:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20858

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