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New Federalism, Intra-governmental Relations and Co-governance in Mexico



Evidence from six Mexican states is analyzed about changes in government organisation and performance arising from decentralisation and the recasting of federalism structures. Spurred by rising pluralism, greater electoral transparency, alternancia, and willingness of the Centre to ‘let go’, a more genuine structure of shared powers is emerging between the executive (governors), the legislature and the judiciary. The government bureaucracy is undergoing modernisation, and governors are seeking to share power with legislatures as a means of sharing the responsibilities of statecraft. Local congresses are exercising greater ‘checks’ and ‘balances’ vis-à-vis the executive branch. Finally, the judiciary is beginning to be reorganised, particularly at the national (Supreme Court) level, where it is starting to develop jurisprudence relating to inter- and intra-governmental relations.



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The authors would like to acknowledge the comments of two anonymous referees. Research for this paper was undertaken as part of an LBJ School of Public Affairs and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE) joint research project funded by the Ford Foundation, Mexico City, and by the Hewlett supported LBJ School U.S.– Mexico Policy Studies Program. At these two institutions we would like to thank Enrique Cabrero Mendoza and Chandler Stolp for their support.



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