The Music That is Here to Stay: New Rules in State-Society Relations in Mexico

The Music That is Here to Stay: New Rules in State-Society Relations in Mexico

Atzimba Baltazar Macías (Independent Consultant, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6292-6.ch008
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Abstract

The chapter aims at understanding a recent phenomenon in Mexican politics: the use of Internet and social media as a new and powerful resource for mobilization and social participation in the policy process. Based on a review of two recent movements in Mexico (#YoSoy132 and The Wirikuta Defense Front), the chapter argues that although the Internet is still restricted to the middle and upper classes, the use of social media and its impact transcends class boundaries, draws public attention, creates a valuable social capital for mobilization, and influences the decision-making process. The chapter does not intend to provide evidence to the theoretical discussion on why and how social media enhances political participation and mobilization; rather, it reflects the features shared by these two movements in order to draw some lines for further research. It finds that, if used appropriately, social media is actually an effective tool to facilitate mobilization and modify the public agenda.
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Introduction

The chapter aims at understanding a recent phenomenon in Mexican politics: the use of the Internet and social media as a new and powerful resource for mobilization and social participation in the policy process. The paper argues that although the Internet is still restricted to the middle and upper classes, the use of information and its impact transcends class boundaries, draws public attention, and creates valuable social capital for mobilization and influences of the decision-making process.

The chapter is divided into three sections. In the first section, I will review the academic discussion on the use of Internet and social networks. The second section will analyze two major movements that have arisen in Mexico through social networks: #YoSoy132 and the campaign to protect the Wirikuta area. Finally, the chapter will discuss the use of social networks for mobilization and participation in the consolidation of democracy in Mexico.

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