Ecological Ethics and the Human Soul
Aquinas, Whitehead, and the Metaphysics of Value
272 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268022051 | January 2008
Caroline Beer’s new book explores the consequences of democratic politics in Mexico. Focusing on struggles at the subnational level, she assesses how increased electoral competition alters the long-term distribution of power across political institutions in ways that shift power away from established elites and into the hands of ordinary citizens. Electoral Competition and Institutional Change in Mexico includes compelling case study comparisons of three states with very different experiences with electoral democracy: Guanajuato, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosí. These cases are then situated within a broader quantitative analysis of all thirty-one Mexican states. Beer’s research reverses the causal arrow of many standard studies by focusing on the causes of institutional change rather than the consequences of institutional design. Her analysis reveals that the process of increasing electoral competition has unleashed new forces that have slowly eroded the power of centralized, authoritarian elites in Mexico. Utilizing a theoretical framework that draws on insights from classic democratic theory, new institutionalist literature, and current critiques of contemporary Latin American democracy, Beer’s important work represents the first comparative study of state legislatures and governors in Mexico and offers compelling insight into the bottom-up dynamics of Mexico’s transition to democracy.
Francisco J. Benzoni is visiting assistant professor of business ethics at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He has published a number of articles and reviews on environmental ethics and Thomistic studies.
“Beer’s straightforward and accessible writing style, methodological rigor, and academic contribution are first class. Beer’s book is a must for students of Mexican politics and of the democratization process in general. Essential.” ~Choice