Azuela de la Cueva, Antonio
Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México, Mexico
4 - 9 April 2016
My last visit to Oñati was brief but very productive. I spend a week using the Institute’s resources to explore different constitutional regimes for capital cities. This was not a purely academic project, but part of a contribution for a new constitution for Mexico City. In 1928 municipalities in our city capital were suppressed and it was only in the last two decades of the XXth Century that political change translated into new government regimes. At last, this year a “Constitutional Assembly” was elected and it will have the task of drafting a new constitution for the city. In that context, I have been working, with the support of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (of Cambridge Mass.) in order to elaborate proposals for the constitution. For that purpose, the resources at de Oñati Institute were extremely useful, as I had the opportunity to compare regimes of different countries.
The main issues in this project are property rights and the structure of local governments within a metropolitan agglomeration. So, on the one hand, I did a lot of reading on the relation between landed property and urban management. This will allow me to present comparative analyses of property regimes in different contexts, in order to understand the options that are open for Mexico City. On the other hand, I studied different forms of local governments in urban agglomerations, in order to locate Mexico City’s options in a global context.
As usual, people at the Library and at the Institute at large were extremely helpful. The environment of the Institute within the Oñati landscape provide a wonderful context for research and writing.
At the end of my visit, I participated in a Workshop on Sociology of Law in Latin America, which gave me the opportunity to meet a group of colleagues of the new generation and exchange points of view with them. No doubt Oñati is unique in combining a cosmopolitan debate on socio-legal studies with a strong and compelling local culture. “Glocality” at its best!