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By Todd A. Eisenstadt

Pitting competition activists' post-electoral conflicts opposed to their utilization of regime-constructed electoral courts, this examine of Mexico's sluggish transition to democracy addresses the puzzle of why its competition events didn't use those self sufficient courts. The electoral courts have been confirmed to mitigate Mexico's frequently violent post-electoral disputes at key moments of the country's 27-year democratic transition, and had formal promises of court docket independence from the celebration of the Institutional Revolution (PRI).

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However, unlike the centralized PAN, the PRD’s decentralized chapters based calculations on local, rather than national, political contexts. In conclusion, the story to be told is one of the separation of an independent third-party arbiter from a one-party state. The task was onerous but possible, at least at the national level, as I demonstrate in Chapters 2 and 3. Courting democracy was doomed as long as institutional failures were routine and expected. But when working electoral courts increasingly replaced these failures, to the point that “wolf-crying” claims of electoral fraud were no longer credible, “free and fair elections” ceased to be an obstacle to democratization.

The accelerated and even discontinuous change associated with pacted democratization processes is not conducive to discerning more subtle changes in an institution’s development. However, consideration of the ontologically prior conceptual moment, when predemocratization changes within the authoritarian regime redirected institutional development prior to the authoritarians’ demise, does allow identification of discrete changes in the course of institutional development. Considering a cross section of authoritarian regimes renders the conclusion that lines of delegation in such regimes are not transparent.

Transition is not just an insiders’ quarrel between the hardliners and the moderates in the authoritarian coalition. There are also hard-line (radical) and moderate oppositions, and they must be more fully modeled, because without them, there is no transition either. 7 In a separate project, McFaul (1999) discusses Russia’s “protracted transition” as a stalemate among actors in which electoral democracy has been reached, but entrenched interests preclude the consolidation of liberal democracy. Contrary to the success of Mexico’s actors in using electoral democracy to launch “social” or “liberal” democracy, McFaul questions the linear advance of Russia’s path, as does Malley (2000) in his study of Indonesia.

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