Popular response to neoliberal reform: The political configuration of property rights in two Ejidos in Yucatan, Mexico

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Title: Popular response to neoliberal reform: The political configuration of property rights in two Ejidos in Yucatan, Mexico
Author: Diggles, Michelle Eileen, 1974-
Abstract: This dissertation examines popular responses to property rights reforms in Mexico by comparing two ejidos in the southeastern state of Yucatan. As part of a series of neoliberal reforms enacted in the 1980s and 1990s in Mexico, the federal government altered the existing property rights regime to enable the division and privatization of previously protected communal land. I argue that the responses to the reforms were contingent on the historical development of institutional rules, political and economic practices, and cultural values. In the first case study, Mani­, ejidatarios accepted the new rules while simultaneously expressing concern over changes in the process of becoming an ejidatario, a rights holder making land tenure decisions. Community members used the new rules to guarantee access to land and the ejido system by purchasing individualized parcelas of ejido land in part because they gained material benefits, such as secure access to state-funded irrigation systems. The rise in the remittance-economy and population pressures increased local demand for land and provided the income for local buyers. In Hunucma, the other case study, ejidatarios contested the state-imposed rules as violations of their traditional usos y costumbres. They fought against land sales for the construction of a new airport, rejecting the legitimacy of the formal property system because the new rules had been manipulated by state officials and land speculators. In doing so the ejidatarios revived and re-deployed historical cross- ejido alliances and habits of militancy and mobilization. Both cases reveal that property rights regimes are more than institutions but rather political configurations of control over resources, whereby the distribution of rights and subjective interpretation of the rules and practices determine local responses.
Description: xiv, 219 p. : ill. (some col.) A print copy of this title is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/8566
Date: 2008-09

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