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Lecture 10

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Political Science
Judith Teichman

POLC91 November 22, 2012 Lecture 10 -paper; worth 30% -final; worth 50% -submit paper in class in hard copy Chile – concluded -since the return to democracy there has been high levels of inequality; pensions, education -there has been student protests -now there is a center-right gov’t in power Political implications -the gov’t hasn’t moved quickly enough --growing disillusionment with political institutions -there was optimism when it returned to civilian rule, but did not change all that quickly --only 45% of Chileans thought democracy was preferable to any other form of gov’t – 2001 UNDP survey --Chileans disagree over the issue of inequality – not all of them think that this is a problem, surveys show that 30-50% of those surveyed think that inequality is not a problem -one of the responses suggested that a significant portion of ppl think that high levels of inequality are necessary for economic development -upper and middle class ppl do just fine; they don’t see that there is a problem What is Pinera doing in response to popular demands about inequality? --highly targeted social programs -already had one big program, but he has added more targeted to ppl whoa re extremely poor and moderately poor --increased spending on health and education; into the public systems – but it is not clear that this is going to work, b/c protests are against the dualities of the system, so it is unlikely that he will be able to put in enough money to get them to the level of the other system -there is no change to the basic structure of service provision; -gov’t doesn’t want to change it b/c there are a lot of ppl who like the system the way it is; the private companies who run the health care and education system -Chile still has weighty political and inequality issues that it needs to address -needs to mediate the 2 sides; lower and upper class Mexico and the drug trade in the era of neoliberalism -made transition to electoral demo in 2000 – this was the year that the dominant political party was defeated and opposition president came to power 1 -was making transition ont from a military regime, but from a very flexible and sophisticated and benign form of authoritarianism, which was a one party system -lost power slowly, and lost election again in 2006, however in 2012 the PRI (dominant authoritarian political party) was elected back into power – Enrique Pena Nieto defeated the other 2 parties -there is concern that this party is back in power b/c have characteristics that are very auth. And not good for demo Problems of Mexican Democracy -shares many of the same problems of chile and other LA countries, but has come problems of their own --concentration of economic power; like other LA countries some companies have power and .. --technocratic decision making; like chile and others, the ppl running the most powerful ministries are highly educated --institutional inadequacies – Chile’s inst inadequacies are diff from mexico’s – in practice congress is very weak, poorly funded so cant examine policies in detail, reduces level of debate -also has a rule that prevents congress ppl from being re-elected, which means that congress ppl don’t gain any expertise or knowledge about policy --persistence of clientelism – this is a major feature of mexicos traditional auth regime, and even after transition to demo don’t get rid of it that easily – exchange of material rewards for political support -it permeates the Mexican political system as well --weak civil society; reasons for this will become clear, but they are even weaker than they are in chile -therefore, they are not in a good position to criticize policies and the gov’t and have a real impact on outcome --there is violent political opposition; goes beyond street protests and demonstrations -in southern mexico there are 14-15 guerilla org’s, that use violence against the state, kidnap politicians, confrontations with military and police, and are clearly orientated toward violent overthrow of the gov’t -one of the most well known , not primarily military anymore, is the Zapatistas – don’t engage in violence anymore, but this region is totally militarized - failure of the democratic process to deal with a significant portion of society --drug trade – trafficking and cartels and political violence related to this has become a huge problem and infringed on the operation of demo political inst’s Extent of the drug trade -it is everywhere – high levels of violence are closer to the border, but the activities of the cartel occur absolutely everywhere -estimated 55,000 drug related deaths btwn 2000-2006, 6,000 disappearances -very dangerous place -in addition, the drug trade has brought extensive human rights violations on the part of the Mexican state 2 -mexican gov’t strategy for dealing with drug trade has been to ratchet up military and police action against cartels, in their attempt to get traffickers off the streets there has been vast human rights violations -another common occurrence is just executing suspected drug traffickers on the spot -disappearances on the part of security forces, military and police -turf wars btwn cartels – parts of mexico of complete lawlessness in the north -leads some to talk of mexico as a failed state in some parts -journalists are targets of the cartels; by 2006 # of journalists assassinated per year was greater than it was in Columbia -traffickers target police, lawyers, law enforcement, jurors etc. -cartels in mexico are the inheritors of the drug trade that was earlier centered in Columbia; the US in 80s and 90s was focused on eliminating traffickers from Columbia and succeeded in breaking it up in Colombia, but what really happened was they just relocated to mexico -drug trade is lucrative and illegal; since there are huge profits, who ever is running it has lots of money to hire armies and move around -mexico is a hierarchical society -small white pop’n at top in control of politics and economics -small indigenous pop’n; about 10 million today -they are in south and central mexico -in the middle there is a mixed blood pop’n that constitutes the vast majority; they are the urban and rural poor and the middle class -revolution occurred b/c of landlessness but the revolution didn’t really solve a lot b/c of the amount of heterogeneity – -there is a lot of political unrest and turmoil even in the post revolution -had to figure out a way to contain the unrest; didn’t want a real free flowing demo b/c this was have meant actualy land redistribution, but didn’t want this b/c those who led the revolution ended up the new big landowners -started the inst revolutionary party -leaders of revolution came to power and decided needed a party that would deal with political discontent -ended with party corporatism; refers to the incorporation of organized groups into the party apparatus -trade union, peasant org’s etc -encouraged the formation of trade unions and org’s -turned out that this structure ended up being controlled from the top down by the Mexican president, so the leaders of each of these and of the trade unions that belonged to them had to be approved by the president -when an opposition group emerged, the leadership of the PRI would declare the election invalid on a technicality and then have another election with their own candidates, or put the opposition in jail – they ensured that the ppl who were in charge would not oppose the president -this was to quell discontent and get ppl out to vote, and to end the unrest conflict 3 -how did it do this? --through patron clientelism -leaders of the conferedations and trade unions were allowed to enrich themselves -they earned so much money, so they coveted their jobs – were happy to keep the system as it was --state corporatism; 1931 law, all trade unions must register with the ministry of labour; used to manipula
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