Geography, Rights, and the Urban Revolution in Mexico City
Transdisciplinary by design, Monstrous Politics first moves historically through Mexico City’s turbulent twentieth century, driven centrally by the contentious imbrication of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its capital city. Participant observation, expert interviews, and archival materials demonstrate the shifting strategies and alliances of recent decades, provide the reader with a sense of the texture of contemporary political life in the city during a time of unprecedented change, and locate these dynamics within the history and geography of twentieth-century urbanization and political revolution. Substantive ethnographic chapters trace the emergence and decline of the political language of “the right to the city,” the establishment and contestation of a “postpolitical” governance regime, and the culmination of a century of urban politics in the processes of “political reform” by which Mexico City finally wrested back significant political autonomy and local democracy from the federal state.
A four-fold transection of the revolutionary structure of feeling that pervades the city in this historic moment illustrates the complex and contradictory sentiments, appraisals, and motivations through which contemporary politics are understood and enacted. Drawing on theories of social revolution that embrace complexity, and espousing a methodology that foregrounds the everyday nature of politics, Monstrous Politics develops an understanding of revolutionary urban politics at once contextually nuanced and conceptually expansive, and thus better able to address the realities of politics in the “urban age” even beyond Mexico City.
1. A Century of Monsters, Machines, and Megaurbanization
2. Crisis, Conflict, and Cárdenista Revolution
3. Dreaming Dialectically: The Death and Life of the Right to the City in Mexico City
4. Así No (Not Like This): Resisting Postpolitics on Avenida Chapultepec
5. The Redemptive (Urban) Revolution: Political Reform and the Rebirth of the Capital City‑State
Appendix: An Explanatory Note on Approach and Methods