Ben Duke at Mexico PSA 2015 in Guadalajara

AMECiP (Mexico Political Studies Association) and the UK Political Studies Association (PSA) sponsored me as an ‘exchanger’ to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city. The Congreso there was AMECiP’s third, and was held at the University of Guadalajara, 16 and 17 July 2015.

I was asked to deliver two presentations. The first was to summarise and discuss my published paper, ‘Small is Beautiful’, regarding democratisation tools for small nation states. The second was to participate in a special panel, which concluded the conference. My task was to open a discussion of the UK General Election of May 2015. I gave a critical review of the literature, and offered an explanation as to why 37% of the electorate voted for the Conservative Party.

Guadalajara itself was an important experience for me. Social problems, which are visually manifest in numerous ways, demonstrate the way that ‘Washington  consensus neoliberalism’ operates in developing countries. There is huge social disparity between people who are impoverished, and other members of Guadalajara’s population, who are clearly very wealthy. For many in Guadalajara, resource allocation through present mechanisms has failed.

My thanks for PSA UK and AMECiP for supporting my research and expanding my horizons.

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Ben Duke is a PhD candidate at Keele University