• Framing the Public Sphere: A Study of Print Media in Veracruz (Mexico)

    How does the combination of democratization and violence shape the public sphere? This should entail an enlargement of the public sphere and an increase in public deliberation. Since framing is a powerful tool in determining the scope and contents of public debate, what role does framing play in democratizing public spheres? Taking the state of Veracruz (Mexico) as a case study, we explore to what extent do print media allow for an enlargement of the public sphere in terms of both admissible participants and issues. We argue that framing practices contribute to a paradoxical situation in which deliberation takes place, but whose democratic character is severely compromised by the systematic exclusion of certain actors and the subordinate framing of certain issues in the media. The result is a hybrid public sphere in which ostensibly democratic media help normalize violence, authoritarian practices and traditional domination patterns.

  • Collectively Gardening the Urban Public Space in Mexico City: When Informal Practices Interact with the State

    In recent years, a growing number of citizen-led gardens have appeared in the urban public spaces of large cities across the world. While many of these projects are initially launched informally without any support from the state, they gradually become integrated into the social fabric of the city. To understand the evolution of the formal–informal boundaries of the practice, we argue that we should be paying attention to the specific institutional contexts that frame gardeners’ interactions with public authorities. Drawing from a study of citizen-led gardens in Mexico City, we show that informal urban gardening becomes a disconnected-from-the-state practice. On the one hand, the Mexico City government has shown a growing interest in regulating urban agriculture. On the other hand, gardeners are increasingly trying to find their own ways to formalize and perennate their practice. We suggest that this disconnection between gardeners and the state is best explained by the weakness of the institutional context in which their interactions take place. A top-down policymaking process, along with the incapacity and unwillingness of the multi-leveled city government to implement policies effectively, reinforces norms of mistrust and generates low expectations among gardeners as they interact with local authorities.

  • Les espaces publics, la démocratie et les gauches en Amérique latine

    Ce collectif d’auteurs met en commun des visions complémentaires sur les changements politiques, sociaux et économiques du «?virage à gauche?» en Amérique latine.