Culture and democracy
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Mexico has made a transition to democracy, but appears not have reached the stage of consolidated liberal democracy. Given the inadequacy of institutional views of explaining consolidation, theorists have turned to the liberalization of culture as an essential element in explaining the sources of democratic consolidation. This study adopts a political cultural theory of democratic consolidation, and conceives of political culture as symbolic narratives. Symbolic narratives are stories about the nation and the goals of politics that motivate and give meaning to political behavior. The study argues that a liberal symbolic narrative is a necessary component of a consolidated democracy. By viewing the evolution of symbolic narratives since the independence period of Mexico, the study reveals the transformational goals of Mexican political programs; politics has for long been oriented toward reordering society from the ground up. These aims conflict with the more limited aims of liberal democracies, and Mexico's democratic consolidation will follow the liberalization of the predominant symbolic narrative of the nation.