The Production of Mexican Space
: Henri Lefebvre, Globalization and State

  • Huw Robert Evans

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis uses Henri Lefebvre's production of space thesis to illustrate the globalization of Mexican space, with particular emphasis on the period 1982-1994. Attention to Lefebvre's work suggests an important contribution to the ongoing debate concerning the relationship between the nation-state and globalization. This contribution is demonstrated in three main ways. First, Lefebvre maintains a central role for the state in the production of a relatively stable socio-spatial grounding for capital. This is examined via changes in the territoriality of the Mexican state with the advent of neoliberal restructuring. Second, Lefebvre highlights the importance of the state in constituting a hegemonic narrative of 'the global' for a political community Cthe nation'). This is necessary to contain participation and structure political identity, with state-led production of such representations fundamental to the entrenchment of capital and the legitimation of both political and geographical uneven development. This aspect is examined by focusing on the manipulation of national culture to visualise a 'spectacle of Mexican modernity' during the presidency of Salinas de la Gortari (1988-1994). Third, Lefebvre's recognition of the importance of such representations to globalization situates the nation-state as an important terrain of resistance. This aspect is examined via the Zapatista movement's 1994 interruption of the smooth unfolding of the globalization -process, through contestation of elite representations of national space. The thesis positions itself between those literatures that continue to reify the state, and those that maintain that globalization has rendered the nation-state effectively irrelevant to the understanding of contemporary processes. Henri Lefebvre furnishes a possible way to negotiate this impasse, and provides some clear insights on the possibilities of progressive political practice in a world replete with insistence that there is 'no alternative' to globalization
Date of Award2001
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorJenny Edkins (Supervisor)

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