The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Understanding the nature of presidential policymaking in Mexico through an agenda-setting approach

Understanding the nature of presidential policymaking in Mexico through an agenda-setting approach
Understanding the nature of presidential policymaking in Mexico through an agenda-setting approach
In Latin American democracies, the figure of the president is often considered to be an actor with considerable capacity for agenda-setting and a significant role in in influencing the definition of policy agendas. Scholarship has frequently analysed the role and function of the president including institutional changes to the presidency and changes in the constitutional and agenda setting powers of the president. The process by which the president in influences prioritisation of issues to be handled by an administration in their policy agendas has not been fully examined. A case in point is the Mexican presidency that allows testing for hypotheses about agenda-setting in a context in which democracy is replacing autocratic forms of policy-making. This thesis identities some of the factors that determine the propensity of presidents to attend to policy issues. It postulates and tests existing theories on agenda-setting to form a hypothesis on punctuated equilibrium theory for a democratisation context. In this task, it uses a new dataset of Informe de Gobierno presidential speeches between 1988 and 2015. The empirical analysis finds that the theory of punctuated equilibrium applies to presidential agendas in Mexico. The causal process explaining these patterns is the presence of bounded rationality and institutional friction. The institutional characteristics of this presidential system, with a separation of powers and multipartism, explain much of the institutional friction against policy changes. A negative feedback process, emerging from the presence of political fragmentation, holds the presidential agenda in a long-term equilibrium. Meanwhile, a president's entrepreneurial behaviour enhances a positive feedback process through formation of political coalitions that helps to reach agreements between political actors. The analysis also finds that institutional friction limits Mexican presidents' ability to convey priorities into other stages of the policy making process. This thesis provides evidence that the Mexican president is a strategic political actor that anticipates shifts in the political environment and adjusts the presidential policy priorities accordingly. The thesis concludes with a general discussion concerning the study of presidential policy making and policy agendas in Mexico in particular and, in general, in democratisation contexts.
University of Southampton
Aranda Jan, Ana Carolina
4880fe48-661a-40fe-95fc-de3aca7dd5b3
Aranda Jan, Ana Carolina
4880fe48-661a-40fe-95fc-de3aca7dd5b3
Jennings, William
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7

Aranda Jan, Ana Carolina (2018) Understanding the nature of presidential policymaking in Mexico through an agenda-setting approach. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 232pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

In Latin American democracies, the figure of the president is often considered to be an actor with considerable capacity for agenda-setting and a significant role in in influencing the definition of policy agendas. Scholarship has frequently analysed the role and function of the president including institutional changes to the presidency and changes in the constitutional and agenda setting powers of the president. The process by which the president in influences prioritisation of issues to be handled by an administration in their policy agendas has not been fully examined. A case in point is the Mexican presidency that allows testing for hypotheses about agenda-setting in a context in which democracy is replacing autocratic forms of policy-making. This thesis identities some of the factors that determine the propensity of presidents to attend to policy issues. It postulates and tests existing theories on agenda-setting to form a hypothesis on punctuated equilibrium theory for a democratisation context. In this task, it uses a new dataset of Informe de Gobierno presidential speeches between 1988 and 2015. The empirical analysis finds that the theory of punctuated equilibrium applies to presidential agendas in Mexico. The causal process explaining these patterns is the presence of bounded rationality and institutional friction. The institutional characteristics of this presidential system, with a separation of powers and multipartism, explain much of the institutional friction against policy changes. A negative feedback process, emerging from the presence of political fragmentation, holds the presidential agenda in a long-term equilibrium. Meanwhile, a president's entrepreneurial behaviour enhances a positive feedback process through formation of political coalitions that helps to reach agreements between political actors. The analysis also finds that institutional friction limits Mexican presidents' ability to convey priorities into other stages of the policy making process. This thesis provides evidence that the Mexican president is a strategic political actor that anticipates shifts in the political environment and adjusts the presidential policy priorities accordingly. The thesis concludes with a general discussion concerning the study of presidential policy making and policy agendas in Mexico in particular and, in general, in democratisation contexts.

Text
Thesis Final - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Download (1MB)

More information

Published date: 6 September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427729
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427729
PURE UUID: 67cf265c-9681-49f7-b4df-86086a0c6e5e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 17:43

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×