Journal of Public Management & Social Policy


The U.S.-Mexican border is a region discussed in public conversations; a place where vendors, disparate groups of people, public art, and many different levels of government converge; it is a place designed to be a gateway between countries. It is a public space, a place where substantive democracy should be paramount. This paper provides a theoretical overview of public space, democracy, and the main bureaucracy in charge, the Department of Homeland Security. It posits that democracy is limited in the border region, with the use of the public space and the functioning of the bureaucracy, and provides suggestions to improve democracy in the region. In order to improve lives, increase trust of government institutions, and improve domestic and economic security, a more democratic system needs to be developed.



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