Disentangling Comparison: Participatory Mechanisms and Democratization in Brazil and Mexico

Special Report: Dynamics of Participation in Latin America
By Françoise Montambeault

In this article, we open up a discussion on the political effects of participatory mechanisms on the transformation of state-society relationships and mediation modes. To do this, we widen the bases for the comparison of participatory mechanisms in Latin America, proposing a novel multilevel comparison of two Mexican cases, Nezahualcóyotl and León, and two Brazilian cases, Belo Horizonte and Recife. This comparison focuses not only on who participates (mobilization strategies), but also on how they do so (level of autonomy) in different participatory mechanisms, allowing us to develop a typology that better captures the complexity and variety of the state-society relationships observed.


  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Nezahualcóyotl (Mexico)
  • León (Mexico)
  • Recife (Brasil)
  • Belo Horizonte (Brasil)
  • democracy
  • state-society relations
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