Thoughts on citizenship in Latin America, with particular reference to Mexico

Paul Gillingham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This essay analyzes citizenship in Latin America, providing both comparative context and a schema for the phenomenon in Mexico. It identifies a region-wide "century of citizenship"that ran from the rise of liberal regimes in the 1850s to the eclipse of populist government in the 1960s, using concepts from historical sociology to discuss the common outlines of citizenship and the extent to which they apply or fail to apply to Mexican history. Key among those outlines are the prevalence of the ideas and practices of citizenship, both inside and outside of the state's formal structures, and the spaces and places where those ideas and practices are developed and perpetuated. It concludes with the exploratory typology of the "four Bs,"the processes through which historical actors build, form boundaries, bicker over, and break citizenship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-42
Number of pages33
JournalMexican Studies - Estudios Mexicanos
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Citizenship
  • Civil society
  • Latin America
  • Liberalism
  • Mexico
  • Nineteenth century
  • Populism
  • Practice
  • Public sphere
  • Space
  • State formation
  • Twentieth century

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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