The Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy by G. WilliamsThe Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy by G. Williams

The Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy

byG. Williams

Hardcover | April 28, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info

$119.37 online 
$151.95 list price save 21%
Earn 597 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


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.
GARETH WILLIAMS Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, USA.
Title:The Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and DemocracyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:219 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.75 inPublished:April 28, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023011024X

ISBN - 13:9780230110243


Table of Contents

Exceptionality, Autoimmunity, Incalculability Politics, Equality, Freedom The Manufactured Image: Melodramatic Consciousness and the Disappearance of the Political Humanism Begets Good Order: Alfonso Reyes and Police Thought 'Under the Paving Stones, the Beach!': Chance, Passive Decision, Democracy Absolute Bio-Hostility and Ubiquitous Enmity: The Party of the Poor and the Militarization of the Political

Editorial Reviews

“A very readable, engaging, well-organized discussion which, on one hand, presents powerful and 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 20th century. On the other hand, Williams also takes issue with critical histories 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