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Citizens' Aspirations and Political Structure: The Limits of Governance

Héctor Tejera Gaona, Silvia Gómez-Tagle and Emanuel Rodríguez Domínguez

Megalopolis cities such as Mexico City generate various problems related to the forms and effectiveness of governance, fostered by distancing people from politics. The magnitude and complexity of the urban world, especially in a city like this, one of the largest in the world, is opposed to the limitations of the daily life of its inhabitants, creating difficulty relating to the extensive network of institutions, officials, and policymakers to develop legislative and government work; tasks that determine the quality of life of every citizen. This affects both the likelihood that public policies can be implemented based on agreements and consensus, to the public indifference to politics; but also face resistance from groups that are not in the government's response to exercise their demands and needs which, in turn, deepens urbanites problems.

The political system itself has created obstacles for effective exercise of governance, both by the action of groups and sectors of economic and political interests that often impose their interests in antagonism with the majority, and its resistance to participation fearing "empower" citizens. Consequently it had generated a dead end, where political groups with influence in the government and public policy, seek to prevent, minimize or channel to other directions the citizen participation while at the same time, governance conditions deteriorate to the indifference or resistance of the inhabitants, with public policies that often serve the interests of specific groups rooted in public administration. In narrower localities or municipalities, citizens are informed about their government representatives; and can determine the interests that bind them to different groups. In this way, even though when the responsibilities and roles to be played by legislators or governments at the municipal level or entity are ignored, the citizens know about the political field and how to influence their government decisions.

This panel will explore different forms of political participation in cities, from spontaneous social movements, to institutional political processes, through neighborhood organizations, social networking policy, labor movements and their relationship with the political structure, which clarifies the content of relations or conflicts between society and government.