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Las comisiones y la pirámide: La recentralización conflictiva del poder en el IFE
Política y Gobierno (1999)
  • Andreas Schedler
Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) suffers from a dualistic and ambiguous internal structure. On the one hand, the electoral codes confers considerable powers to the Institute’s administrative organs. On the other hand, it endows the General Council, IFE’s superior body of governance and oversight, with legal responsibilities so fundamental, comprehensive, and open that they tend to subvert administrative autonomy. According to the institutionalist interpretation offered in the present essay (on the basis of a series of open-ended interviews with leading representatives of the Institute), the General Council tries to resolve these structural contradictions to its benefit by recentralizing decision-making power. The main instrument of this informal redefinition of internal power relations are the Council’s permanent commissions (established in 1996). The article analyzes the institutional bases of the relative autonomy these commissions possess; describes the mode of detailed, continuous, and anticipatory oversight they exercise; and sketches some important trade-offs this “bureaucratic” mode of close oversight tends to generate. The Council’s recentralizing drive tends to marginalize its President. The essay analyzes some institutional rules that further complicate his position vis-à-vis the Council. It concludes with reflections on possible ways out of this costly and conflictive “structure-induced disequilibrium,” be it by changing the formal rules or by redefining the informal game.
  • Mexico,
  • electoral governance,
  • democratic transition,
  • election management
Publication Date
Spring 1999
Citation Information
Andreas Schedler. "Las comisiones y la pirámide: La recentralización conflictiva del poder en el IFE" Política y Gobierno Vol. 6 Iss. 1 (1999)
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