Regression through Transformation. Constitutional Involution in Mexico.

Since 2018, Mexico is passing through a radical process of political transformation. This paper explores the way in which a new power elite is predicating its distinctive views through constitutional change. Through the focal lenses of Bruce Ackerman’s influential theory on contemporary paths to constitutionalism, the new cycle of political and constitutional transformation ushered by the new government is put into test to ascertain if its narrative resembles the patterns of revolutionary constitutionalism or, to the contrary, is more in tune with preservationist strategies for constitutional change that the paper portrays as regression through transformation. This paper also aims at assessing contemporary constitutional erosion in Mexico by ascertaining if our current predicaments can be addressed by means of constitutional design and prescription, or to the contrary, by acknowledging that we are in the verge of a new understanding of the constitution and its role in modern politics.

Democracy: government of, with and for the human person.

What approach to democracy is best for the development of public activity and democratic life? There are two dominant perspectives about the preconditions and functions of democracy: On the one hand, the notion of democracy that departs from nihilist and relativist postulates by which the former is portrayed as a procedure to legitimize any deontic phenomenon. On the other, and in contradistinction with the procedural notion of democracy, there is the so-called militant democracy, that deems it as a form of government of, with and for the human person. This notion is key for a political regime that takes seriously human fallibility and hence, it aligns with Adorno’s imperative that Auschwitz should never happen again. This is a type of democracy that moves around the heuristic feature of human dignity to solve practical dilemmas, as shown by Habermas and Ballesteros. A democracy that is lived and portrayed as such constitutes a guarantee for a genuine development of what is public.

Moving forward or backwards on State’s sustainable consumption and business supplier’s production through public procurement?

We still have a pandemic to cope with, only ten years to deliver on an ambitious Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and a ruling party enthusiast to run backwards on sustainable development. Sustainable development acknowledged within article 25 is one amongst the many constitutional principles that are under threat by current administration’s policies and initiatives that continue to feed a constitutional crisis. Fostering development that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable is not only a core constitutional principle but also an international political commitment Mexico undertook in 2015 to attain 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets by 2030. Particularly, SDG12 calls States to promote sustainable consumption and production through public procurement. This paper explores whether current public procurement policies are promoting or rather hindering public sector’s sustainable consumption of goods, services and works from private suppliers.

Constitutional reformism and the irrelevance of the Constitution in Mexico.

Constitutional reformism in Mexico has been explained from the analysis of its causes and consequences. Among the causes, have been postulated: political pluralism, product of the democratic transition process; the strategic need to protect relevant political agreements and also to shield decisions against review from the Supreme Court. Other accounts have focused on the consequences, such as the unintelligible physiognomy that the constitution has acquired due to its loss of coherence, reiterations, excess of technicalities and its regulatory contents, and perhaps even more relevant, the loss of both legal and political effectiveness. Our work inquires on the deep consequences that the loss of effectiveness can generate in the political community. The inquiry will be illuminated by the question that Carlos Nino asked about why the Constitution is relevant. We argue that constitutional reformism in Mexico empties the constitution of meaning and thus affects its relevance.

The Constitution vs. Political Power: On the way to counter the narrative of constitutional delegitimation.

Whereas political power may hold the reforming power over the constitution, constitutional theory has privileged the judiciary as the ultimate interpreter of the constitution in order to ascertain the adequacy of political procedures to the former in order to prevent the abuses from the other branches of government. In the Mexican case, it is clear that the President has exercised an unusual control over the other branches and has articulated a narrative against the constitutionally independent agencies that serve as a check to the overwhelming power of the Executive. It is in this juncture that the judiciary, acquires an instrumental role to preserve the constitutional order. The control over constitutional amendments should appear as an effective mechanism to assess and redirect prescriptions that may alter the spirit of the constitution. This can only be achieved if our constitutional judges are determined to assume their role and exercise it with full independence and integrity.