Formal Research Program
They are classified according to the Lines of Generation and Application of Knowledge (LGAK) established by the department.
|The judicial protection of rights. The role of local public defenders in Mexico.|
| Director: Dra. Azul A. Aguilar Aguilar |
Abstract: Since the 1990s, the reform of different institutions within Mexico's justice system has mainly occurred at the federal level: the judicial branch, the public ministry, public defenders, among others. Little has been done at the sub-national level, even though these institutions are closer to ordinary citizens. In fact, it could be argued that authoritarian judicial enclaves persist, operating under the same rules and conditions as they did during the authoritarian regime. This is the case of local public defenders. Public defenders constitute a local institution that provides access to justice for anyone who has been accused of a crime and cannot afford a private lawyer. Hence, public defenders are the avenue to justice for the poorest segment of the population. In this research I explore the degree to which public defenders actually and effectively protect the human right to an adequate defense free of charge. I use a qualitative and comparative methodology that allows me to explain when and why public defenders make the judicial system work according to a logic of rights protection, in particular, what conditions allow public defenders to mount an adequate defense. Based on interviews with public defenders in the States of Baja California Sur, Jalisco and Nuevo León, I argue that their professionalization and the introduction of the adversarial court system help to explain why public defenders are becoming an effective avenue for the protection of rights through the provision of an adequate defense.
|Federalism, democracy and political representation in Mexico.|
| Director: Dr. Alfonso Hernández Valadez |
Outside collaborators: Center for Mexico-US Studies, University of California at San Diego.
Abstract:This research project looks at the relationship between federalism and political representation, both theoretically and empirically, using the case of Mexico as a starting point. The implications of federalism on the quality of representation have not been sufficiently studied from a theoretical viewpoint. The literature suggests that federalism enhances or has an important impact on the quality of political representation. However, the relationship between the two concepts and their institutional implications are multi-faceted, to say the least, and the influence that the federal system of government has on the different kinds of political representation might not be positive when it comes to the control that citizens has exercise over their representatives.
|Public insurance and federalism in Mexico.|
| Director: Dr. Carlos Moreno Jaimes |
Outside collaborators: El Colegio de México, CIDE, The World Bank
Abstract: This project addresses one of the most relevant and complex public policy issues in Mexico: health care inequality. Even though health care has been a constitutional right since 1983, inequality is deep-rooted and persistent. We argue that the problem of health care inequality in Mexico is caused, to a great extent, by our country's fragmented health care system, as well as by the ineffectiveness of policies designed to decentralize health services. This has generated a glaring contradiction: the protection of a universal right is in the hands of 32 state systems that differ dramatically in their capacities to provide effective, timely and quality services.
|Measuring the quality of government at the municipal level.|
| Director: Dr. Carlos Moreno Jaimes |
Outside collaborators: INAP, IGLOM, CIDE.
Abstract: Why does Mexico tend to have such underachieving governments? This project addresses this question and focuses mainly on the performance of municipal governments. The central argument is that the democratization of the electoral sphere, which has occurred at the local level in Mexico since the mid 1980s, has not improved the quality of governments when it comes to basic service provision, tax collection and the professionalization of its administrative personnel. The project offers a fundamental critique of decentralization as a public policy strategy, as it is based on patronage, weak institutional capacities and an inadequate system of accountability.
|Property tax in Mexico: a historical study of political economy.|
| Director: Dra. Mónica Unda Gutiérrez |
ITESO Collaborators: Dr. Carlos Moreno Jaimes (DESOJ)
Abstract: This project seeks to answer the following questions: Why is the collection of property taxes in Mexico so low? How can economic, administrative, institutional and political factors explain the low levels of property tax collection in Mexican states and municipalities? Why did/do some states or municipalities collect more taxes than others?
|Factors that determine the performance and management of local governments and help to improve the quality of democracy.|
| Director: Mtro. José Joaquín Eugenio Osorio Goicochea |
Outside collaborators: Boston College Graduate School of Social Work
Abstract: Based on the experience of evaluating the performance of municipal governments, and on the understanding of certain theoretical approaches to the quality of the administration and quality of democracy, we are interested in exploring in depth the conditions that determine the capacity of a local government to improve its performance, strengthen the mechanisms for institutional interaction, promote the participation of citizens in the decisions that affect their lives, as factors for achieving positive results in terms of inclusion and legitimacy, which in turn can lead to the attainment of goals and expectations with a clearly-defined strategic orientation.
|Undocumented migrants at and after crossing the Sonora-Arizona border: Vulnerability and survival factors (article)|
| Director: Dra. Adriana González y Dra. Olga Aikin |
Outside collaborators: Center for Day Laborers of the Presbyterian Church of Tucson, Arizona, Casa Mariposas (Tucson, Arizona)
Abstract: This project is the continuation of the research project Transmigration on Western Mexico route: Actors, risks and vulnerability profiles. That study analyzed the conditions of vulnerability of different groups of migrants as they traveled the Western Mexico route. From a perspective of vulnerability based on risk factors and the capabilities or resources that the subjects possess to face them, we conducted interviews with 78 migrants traveling along the route and proposed a series of categories of vulnerability that allowed us to understand the conditions of transit. We found that the vulnerability of these migrants was strongly influenced by factors such as nationality, gender, age, experiences prior to the journey, support networks, and socioeconomic condition. This research takes up where the previous study left off, by following up on with Mexican and Central American migrants who succeeded in crossing the Sonora-Arizona border. Based on in-depth interviews, we set out to explore the factors and conditions that proved to be decisive for a successful crossing, using the vulnerability categories defined in the previous work. Moreover, we reflect on the new vulnerabilities that migrants face once they finally arrive at their destination.
|Migration Processes in Western Mexico (book)|
| Editoras: Dra. Adriana González Arias y Dra. Olga Aikin Araluce |
ITESO Collaborators: Center for Social research and Formation (CIFS)
Outside collaborators: Various authors from the University of Guadalajara, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, the University of Konstanz (Germany), FM4 Paso-Libre.
Abstract: This book aims to describe the new realities of migration in western Mexico as experienced by the multiple flows of migrants converging there. These new migration phenomena call for new theoretical and methodological approaches. The book and its authors use creativity to describe and analyze some of this complexity and propose new lines of analysis.
|The condition of vulnerability of transmigrants taking the Western Mexico route. A proposal for categorization (article).|
| Autoras: Dra. Olga Aikin Araluce y Dra. Adriana González Arias |
Outside collaborators: FM4 Paso Libre (Guadalajara), Kino Initiative (Nogales)
Abstract: This article analyzes the institutional factors that affect the quality of government and the adoption and implementation of public policies at the different levels of the Mexican government.
|Public Policy and Human Rights (thesis)|
| Director: Mtro. Alberto Bayardo Pérez Arce |
Abstract: The constitutional reform of 2011 obliged all authorities to guarantee human rights. While human rights protection is enshrined in laws, the State's responsibility does not end with legal protection: human rights must be inserted into public policy, so that they are extended to vulnerable populations whose enjoyment of these rights is precarious at best. The use of the human rights perspective as a criterion for evaluating public policy design represents a considerable challenge, given the regulatory complexity inherent to the very concept of human rights. For this reason, this study proposes an evaluation model based on 32 standards that focus on the essential aspects of public policy that tries to fulfill the State's human rights obligations, while simultaneously recognizing the need for technical expertise, effectiveness and efficiency, which are actually principles of human rights. The proposed standardized model was tested by evaluating the design of the Human Rights Program of the State of Coahuila; it proved its usefulness by identifying elements that could undermine the program's effectiveness.
|Publishable articles based on the doctoral thesis: Social movements and Liberation Theology. Impacts on local settings.|
| Director: Dr. Jorge Rocha Quintero. |
Abstract: This thesis is part of a larger body of research that examines social movements in Mexico, and looks at four novel facets of the object of study that have been somewhat neglected until now. The first is the Catholic inspiration of these social collectives, which grew in the light of the liberation theology movement that flourished in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, and that now, with Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis), has reappeared on the global scene after the persecution that its leading proponents suffered under Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) and Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). In other words, one of the objectives of this thesis is to objectivize liberation theology as a component of some social movements. The second novelty is the consideration given to the long-term impacts of these social movements on their local settings, particularly in terms of democracy, local development and human rights. The third novelty consists of the cases that were analyzed: they had not been studied before from a social science perspective, or they had been analyzed using very different approaches from those used in this thesis. The fourth innovation is the use of the comparative method for analyzing the cases, which generated a series of findings that provided important insights into the dynamics being studied. The cases chosen for this research are the social movements that emerged in Sayula, Jalisco; Zapotlán El Grande, Jalisco; and Comalcaco, Tabasco. In the first two cases, pastoral processes were undertaken in the late 1970s by liberation theologians from the newly created Diocese of Ciudad Guzmán. In Comalcaco, Tabasco, it was the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit who in the 1980s launched a pastoral program inspired by the principles of Liberation Theology.
|The political theory of Pierre Bourdieu|
| Director: Dr. David Velasco Yáñez |
ITESO Collaborators: Students from Philosophy courses, the Master's Degree in Politics and Public Administration, and the PhD Program in Social Scientific Studies.
Abstract: While Bourdieu did not develop an explicit political theory as such in his wide-ranging, monumental work, this project takes up aspects that have to do with political action, the theory of the State, and social movements. The essential product of this research is the periodical updating of courses at different academic levels.
|The field of human rights defenders in Mexico. Strategies for the defense and protection of human rights in Mexico.|
| Director: : Dr. David Velasco Yáñez |
ITESO Collaborators: Four scholarship students from the undergraduate program in International Relations: Andrea Lissette Ramírez Rentería, Claudia María de Alba de la Peña, Denisse Montiel Flores and Diana Laura Zárate Rosales; one scholarship student from ITESO's Master's Degree Program in Human Rights, Laura Celeste Ortiz Ramos; and a graduate of the Law School of the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Belinda Guadalupe Camarena Vázquez.
Outside collaborators: CDH Miguel Agustín Pro, AC; Center for Indigenous Rights, Center for Labor Reflection and Action, Jesuit University System (SUJ).
Abstract: This is a long-term project. It started three years ago as an attempt to construct the field of human rights defenders in Mexico. This exercise of applying Bourdieu's field theory involves the analysis of different situations that defenders encounter in Mexico. The project arose from a desire to respond to the structural causes for the increase in the assassinations of defenders, as well as disappearances and extrajudicial killings, which usually start with threats and harassment. Three years into the project, the problem has only gotten worse, making the research not only necessary, but urgent, as it underscores the need to demand protective measures from international organizations as a way to put pressure on the Mexican government.
|Processes of peaceful citizen mobilization in Mexico and the world. Thesis: "Collective responses to sociopolitical violence in conflicted societies" (provisional title)|
| Director: Mtra. Ana María Vázquez Rodríguez |
Outside collaborators: Boston College Graduate School of Social Work
Abstract: This dissertation studies the interconnections between violence related to organized crime, political instability and collective action. It looks at the way the population responds to contexts of instability and conflict (survival, adaptation, non-violent action, self-defense, etc.), as well as to the effects of violence on social welfare, institutional trust, political culture, demographic characteristics, among others, at the local, regional and national levels.
|Violence and armed conflicts in International Relations|
| Director: Dra. Ruth Elizabeth Prado Pérez |
Abstract: The analysis of contemporary armed conflicts and scenarios of prolonged violence constitutes an ongoing challenge for International Relations, at both the theoretical and empirical levels. This project addresses the reshaping of armed conflict and violence based on the analysis of the parties involved (state and non-state actors), its causes (greed vs. resentment), the means by which conflicts are fought and violence is brought to bear, and the spaces in which they occur, as well as the dynamics they adopt, which differ from traditional wars. Adding to the complexity of these analytical variables are the circumstantial and geopolitical factors that determine the selection of different study cases, for the purpose of identifying both common and differentiating aspects. This project specifically explores the dimension of violence and armed conflict that leads to complex humanitarian emergencies, the creation of international regulations for the protection of human rights in these contexts, as well as the configuration of international responses to such situations.
|Gender studies and politics|
| Director: Dra. Ruth Elizabeth Prado Pérez |
Abstract: The steps taken towards gender equality cannot be understood without recognizing the creation and development of legal instruments, organizations and international mechanisms that have played a key role in the adoption of measures that promote this cause. In this sense, Mexico has taken important steps toward incorporating gender perspective into the design and implementation of public policies aimed at strengthening the equality between men and women. However, when it comes to political participation, there is still a long way to go. This project studies the developments, achievements and difficulties that Mexican women face when they take part in political parties, the different levels of government, and decision-making that affects the country's political and social life, with a particular emphasis on the study of these issues in Jalisco.
|Omission as part of moral responsibility in cases of human rights violations.|
| Director: : Dr. José de Jesús Bailón Cabrera |
Abstract: This study addresses the expectations that have emerged to rectify, as far as possible, human rights violations committed by authorities, by assuring that said authorities "abstain" from committing further violations of Fundamental Rights. There are no calls for the violations to be "repaired" in the sense of an objective and subjective "compensation" on behalf of the affected citizen. Once a violation is committed, authorities have a moral responsibility to repair the harm done, and even to make full and absolute "economic" compensation to the person whose human rights were violated. The intention is to compel the responsible parties to genuinely repair the damage and harm done to anyone who suffers inconvenience or "distress" at the hands of authorities. In Private Law, civil obligations demand a compensation payment for anyone who suffers wrongdoing at the hands of his/her peers. There are diverse legal systems in place that call for legal compensation on behalf of the governed.