This book is a collection of essays on the Mexican transition to democracy that offers reflections on different aspects of civic culture, the political process, electoral struggles, and critical junctures. They were written at different points in time and even though they have been corrected and adapted, they have kept the tension and fervour with which they were originally created. They provide the reader with a vision of what goes on behind those horrifying images that depict Mexico as a country plagued by narcotrafficking groups and subjected to unbridled homicidal violence. These images hide the complex political reality of the country and the accidents and shocks democracy has suffered.
Professor Roger Bartra is a Research Fellow at the University of Mexico (UNAM), an anthropologist and sociologist. He is the author of several books on the Mexican political system, the European mythology of melancholy and the wild men, and the anthropology of the brain.
Part I: The Political Transition Chapter 1: The Dictatorship was not Perfect 3 Chapter 2: Mud, mire, and democracy 29 Chapter 3: Can the Right be modern? 42 Chapter 4: The Left - in danger of extinction? 49 Chapter 5: The burdens of the Right 58 Chapter 6: Populism and democracy in Latin America 69 Chapter 7: The Mexican hydra: the return of the authoritarian party 83 Part II: Culture and Democracy Chapter 8: Intellectuals and scholars facing democracy 97 Chapter 9: The labyrinth and its map 106 Chapter 10: Ethnographic sonata in Nay-flat 117 Chapter 11: 1968: Defeat, transition, counter-culture 134 Chapter 12: Memories of the counter - culture 139 Chapter 13: Street life and politics 147 Chapter 14: The shadow of the future