Analyzing the factors involved in subnational democratization and the continuity of subnational undemocratic regimes existing under national democratic systems is an essential step in understanding and improving the quality of subnational democracy. While scholars have recently given increased attention to subnational democratization, research remains limited by the lack of systematic attempts to explain the survival of subnational undemocratic regimes through large-n analyses. Based on a subnational application of national-level modernization and rentier state theories, this thesis contributes to the current literature by providing a conceptualization and measurement of democracy in all Mexican states and by examining the relationships between subnational democratization, economic development, and fiscal autonomy. Hypotheses are tested using panel data from 1989-2011, with electoral data from gubernatorial races. The results show no statistically significant relationship between subnational democratization and economic development or between subnational democratization and fiscal autonomy in the Mexican states.
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