Chapter

Political Engagement and Democratic Legitimacy in Mexico

Pär Zetterberg

in The Impact of Gender Quotas

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199830091
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932924 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199830091.003.0011
Political Engagement and Democratic Legitimacy in Mexico

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This chapter explores whether the legislative quota in Mexico has altered the attitudes and behaviors of ordinary citizens. Using mass survey data from the federal and state levels, Pär Zetterberg tests whether the quota has increased women’s political engagement or enhanced citizens’ positive valuation of, or confidence in, democratic institutions. The findings are inconclusive. While the analysis reveals that the period during which the quota has been implemented corresponds to a decrease in rates of men’s and women’s political participation, this relationship may be spurious. A myriad of other factors, including allegations of electoral fraud and an economic crisis, may also account for political disenchantment among Mexicans. The absence of more conclusive findings in this case draws attention to a key methodological challenge—namely, using secondary surveys to establish a direct, causal link between quotas and trends in women’s political engagement and public attitudes.

Keywords: gender quotas; legislative quota; public attitudes; public opinion; political engagement; survey; Mexico

Chapter.  8320 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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