Rethinking Civil Society in the Age of NAFTA: The Case of Mexico
This article offers an analysis and critique of the concept of civil society and its relationship to neoliberalism as an economic and political project. The author argues that the high level of imprecision in the usage of civil society has enabled both opponents and advocates of neoliberal policies to claim it. We forget that civil society must be understood as a stratified body whose members occupy specific class positions and, therefore, contend for control of vital resources. The author's critique is largely based on the ignoring of class among those who study the intersection of neoliberalism and civil society. In the second part of this article, the author offers an illustration by focusing on Mexico's recent history of democratization in tandem with the application of neoliberal policies.
Jon Shefner. 2007. “Rethinking Civil Society in the Age of NAFTA: The Case of Mexico”. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. March, Volume 610.