Spanish and Mexican Transitions to Democracy in a Comparative Perspective: Contrasting Internationalisations

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    There is more to democratic transitions than elections and markets. This thesis is a comparative study between the internationalisation processes in Spain and Mexico and the interaction between these and the respective transitions to democracy in both countries.
    The stark contrast between the institutional, political and sociocultural provisions in NAFTA and the EU – as well as the distinctly different considerations that shaped the strategies of international actors towards Spain and Mexico during their transitions to democracy – interacted
    in very distinctive ways with the processes of democratisation of Mexico and Spain respectively. Whilst an implicit democratic conditionality for membership into the European Community proved an incentive to Spain to democratise, NAFTA’s lack of any political conditions proved an incentive for the Mexican regime to hold back on democracy. What is more, the social, economic and political consequences of internationalising through EEC membership had a positive democratic effect in Spain. The lack of any such provision in
    NAFTA represented a missed opportunity to support Mexico’s democratic consolidation.
    By using the examples of the EU (or EEC) and NAFTA, and the particular case studies of Spain and Mexico, I will contribute towards the field of democratisation theory by putting forward the idea that the way in which a country in transition to democracy internationalises can be an important factor in the success with which a country achieves the consolidation of democracy.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • King's College London
    SupervisorNagore Calvo Mendizabal (Supervisor) & Adrian Pearce (Supervisor)

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