Political opening and tactical change: Mexican protest, 1964-2000 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Sullivan, Heather
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This paper explores the relationship between democratic opening and contentious politics. It focuses on one element of contentious politics, tactics, which are expected to change substantially alongside the move from an authoritarian to a democratic regime. Although the theories on tactical shifts in response to regime change were crafted in light of the early European experience with democratization, this paper shows that the theory holds in the radically different context of Mexico between 1964 and 2000. Tactics shifted from predominantly direct to demonstrative forms of action with the political opening that occurred during this period. As the political regime opened, even rural protesters shifted to a heavier reliance on demonstrative tactics. This paper also illustrates that full democratization is not required to precipitate the shift in tactics. During Mexico’s hybrid regime, from 1988 to 2000, popular mobilization took on democratic rather than authoritarian characteristics.
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  • Huber, Evelyne
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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