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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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Decentralizing Decentralization: Mexico's Invisible Fourth Level of the State 1

Decentralizing Decentralization: Mexico's Invisible Fourth Level of the State 1

Chapter:
(p.177) 7 Decentralizing Decentralization: Mexico's Invisible Fourth Level of the State1
Source:
Accountability Politics
Author(s):

Jonathan Fox (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208852.003.0007

This chapter explores the relationship between democratization and decentralization. In Mexico, the government promoted deliberative citizen participation nation-wide in rural municipalities, well before national electoral democratization. Mexican decentralization empowered municipalities, but it turns out that municipal governance systematically excludes millions of rural people who live outside of the town centers that usually control municipal affairs. Those villages are most directly governed by sub-municipal authorities. In some states and regions these truly local authorities are chosen democratically, representing villagers to the municipality, in others they are designated from above, representing the mayor to the villagers. This chapter explores rural citizens' efforts to hold local governments accountable through three different comparative research strategies: analysis of resource allocation decision-making processes in a representative sample of local rural governments in the state of Oaxaca; comparison of changing municipal-sub-municipal power relations in four rural states (Oaxaca, Guerrero, Hidalgo, and Chiapas); and a nation-wide comparison of the state level laws that govern this invisible ‘sub-municipal regime’.

Keywords:   sub-municipal government, participatory budgeting, indigenous rights, Municipal Funds, Community Police, Good Governance Councils, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Chiapas

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