Tracing the social processes of change : the political economy of Mexico's transformations

Cuadra Montiel, Héctor (2005). Tracing the social processes of change : the political economy of Mexico's transformations. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis is a theoretical exercise which relies on the Strategic Relational Approach to analyze the broad social processes of change and to deliver a critical account of the contingent contemporary transformations in Mexico. By engaging in an exercise of process-tracing, this thesis aims to examine critically key features of social change, challenging economic deterministic accounts, and ignoring social and political circumstances. Its focus is on the application of theories of change to illuminate broad trajectories of reform. By presenting a theoretically informed empirical narrative of contemporary transformations in Mexico, it is possible to enhance the insight into the particular processes of commodification, democratization and integration. Moreover, the varied and combined paces, depths and strengths of these transformations provide an excellent opportunity to understand and assess the importance of tendencies and countertendencies in play. By referring to the analytical tools of structure and agency, material and ideational elements, all within specific locations of time and space the contingency of processes of change is recognized. The restoration of agency is a crucial element for an analysis of the socially embedded processes of commodification, democratization and integration. By relying on the accounts of political economists and economic sociologists, it can be shown that the processes are deeply political and non-determinate. Therefore, alongside constraints, they also offer windows of opportunity which encompass a broader social and political spectrum and possibilities of transformation. Since different modes of governance are not necessarily incompatible with each other, the account offered here focuses on the state, the market and networking, as well as their complementary roles, which are not reducible to determinisms or inevitability of any sort.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Social Science
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology


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