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Accountability PoliticsPower and Voice in Rural Mexico$
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Jonathan A. Fox

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208852.001.0001

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How Does Civil Society Thicken? The Political Construction of Social Capital in Rural Mexico 1

How Does Civil Society Thicken? The Political Construction of Social Capital in Rural Mexico 1

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 How Does Civil Society Thicken? The Political Construction of Social Capital in Rural Mexico1
Source:
Accountability Politics
Author(s):

Jonathan Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208852.003.0003

This chapter analyzes the iterative process through which the rural poor were able to take advantage of cycles of partial openings from above to build the autonomous regional membership organizations that embody the social foundations of accountability. It engages with broader debates over where social capital comes from. The explanatory framework brings politics in by combining political opportunity structure and strategic interaction approaches. The argument is illustrated by a comparison of the regional impacts of three successive reformist rural development programs in Mexico from the 1970s through the early 1990s. The analysis emphasizes the critical role of uneven reformist openings for allowing the partial degrees of freedom of association needed to make collective action possible.

Keywords:   social capital, state-society synergy, Mexico, collective action, indigenous civil society

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