Social Movements, Political Linkages, and the Challenge to Democracy in Mexico

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1


Department 2

Latin American Studies


Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) brought together a coalition of social and political groupings that, despite a diversity of political views, opposed the implementation of neoliberal economic policies. The Obradorist sociopolitical movement contributed to the construction of participatory democracy by promoting mass participation at different levels. In doing so, it pushed hard to democratize Mexico's faltering liberal democracy, a closed political system with entrenched authoritarianism. The mobilizations that AMLO led and the social movement struggles that he supported paved the way for the creation of the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement—MORENA) in 2011 and his contentious exit from the Partido de la Revolución Democrática—PRD, which he considered a spent force. The social movement struggles in the few years prior to 2018 contributed to his triumph by discrediting the existing system and questioning its legitimacy. Until then, the MORENA had had a close connection with social movements and popular mobilization, but once in power it abandoned the strategy of accompaniment and turned itself into an electoral machine. [excerpt]


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