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The Mexican Exception

Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy

Authors: Williams, G.

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About this book

This book examines the question of democracy in post-revolutionary Mexican society.  Each chapter recuperates an event or particular historical sequence that sheds light on the relation between culture and sovereign exceptionality.  Each moment or sequence stages a relation to language.  In these speech scenes there is a disagreement between social actors (for example, disputes between peasants and intellectuals over words such as democracy, equality, freedom, proletariat, worker, revolution etc.). Democracy in this book is not just a type of Constitution or a form of society that politics affirms on a daily basis.  It is the assumption and installation of egalitarian language.  Democracy is therefore the momentary interruption or suspension of the police order.

About the authors

GARETH WILLIAMS Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, USA.

Reviews

"A very readable, engaging, well-organized discussion which, on one hand, presents powerfuland provocative counterarguments against triumphalist Mexican historiography according to which the post-revolutionary State has succeeded in redressing the rampant injustices and inequalities that plagued Mexico from the colonial period through the early 20thcentury. On the other hand, Williams also takes issue with criticalhistories which have documented how post-revolutionary Mexican regimes (and the PRI party in particular) perpetuate old inequities and/or introduce new forms of inequality. The limitation of many such alternative approaches, he argues, is found in the fact that they unthinkingly reproduce an understanding of the political that is grounded in what Foucault terms biopolitics, and which in the case of Mexico was inherited precisely from the Porfiriato. The book will be a must-read for scholars and graduate students working on Mexico and Latin America in a variety of disciplines, including literary criticism, cultural studies, history and political thought." - Patrick Dove, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Indiana University

"This is, by any standard, a superb book: carefully researched, eloquently written, theoretically sophisticated, driven by a relentless egalitarian passion, and at the same time painstakingly loyal to the wealth of literary, historical-archival, and journalistic materials at hand. Drawing from the definitions of sovereignty, police, and democracy in the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Rancière, Gareth Williams carves out an impressive path of his own by making such theoretical questions about the limits of sovereign power bear on the concrete circumstances of twentieth and twenty-first century Mexico. The Mexican Exception will be indispensable reading for students and scholars of Mexico and Latin America for a very long time indeed." - Bruno Bosteels, Cornell University


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Williams, Gareth

    Pages 1-15

  • Exceptionality, Autoimmunity, and the Question of Democracy

    Williams, Gareth

    Pages 17-40

  • Politics, Equality, and Freedom in Revolution

    Williams, Gareth

    Pages 41-63

  • The Manufactured Subject

    Williams, Gareth

    Pages 65-86

  • Humanism Begets Good Order

    Williams, Gareth

    Pages 87-115

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11903-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11024-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-29263-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • This title is currently reprinting. You can pre-order your copy now.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Mexican Exception
Book Subtitle
Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy
Authors
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-11903-1
DOI
10.1057/9780230119031
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-11024-3
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-29263-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 219
Topics