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Politics in Mexico

The Path of a New Democracy

Seventh Edition

Roderic Ai Camp and Shannan L. Mattiace

Publication Date - 08 July 2019

ISBN: 9780190057152

416 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

This acclaimed text examines the roots of Mexico's contemporary political culture and its democratic transformation


Thoroughly grounded in Mexican history and based on extensive field research, this introduction examines the roots of Mexico's contemporary political culture and its democratic transformation. Now in its seventh edition, Politics in Mexico: The Path of a New Democracy has been revised and updated in order to address several major changes that have occurred since 2013, including the broad effort of Mexico to achieve a functional democracy; Peña Nieto's continued reliance on the armed forces to combat organized crime; an analysis of the 2018 presidential election and what López Obrador's victory means for Mexico; and the country's slow economic growth and the importance of emphasizing poverty as a central policy issue.

Authors Roderic Ai Camp and Shannan L. Mattiace provide an analysis of numerous aspects of Mexican political and economic development, highlighting controversial issues related to electoral democracy, drug-related violence, poverty, human rights, and the country's economic and political relationship with the U.S. Engagingly written by top scholars in the field, Politics in Mexico, Seventh Edition, is essential reading for students of Mexican or Latin American politics, comparative politics, and Mexican history.

New to this Edition

  • Expanded coverage of women, economic and social successes and setbacks, human rights groups, and indigenous Mexicans
  • Integration of video content into the text, including author interviews with prominent and historically important Mexican politicians
  • A final chapter that attempts to explain why Mexico has never been able to achieve a consolidated democracy
  • Linking of themes and interpretations in the text to Vanderbilt University's open access Latin American Public Opinion Project

About the Author(s)

Roderic Ai Camp is the Philip M. McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont McKenna College.

Shannan L. Mattiace is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Allegheny College.


"This is the best introductory text of Mexican politics for American students. The book keeps an updated account of contemporary events and places them in comparative perspective. It also explains many idiosyncratic issues of Mexican politics in a very accessible way. Politics in Mexico is not only a great textbook for students but also a very useful reference for scholars interested in Mexican politics."--Francisco Cantú, University of Houston

"This is a valuable text for grounding a course on Mexican politics that also incorporates a number of other scholarly articles, books, and contemporary news accounts. It is one of the best texts on the market."--Gregory Love, University of Mississippi

"This textbook is extremely comprehensive and contains data that is difficult to find in other books on the subject matter."--Maria R. Garcia-Acevedo, California State University, Northridge

Table of Contents


    1. Mexico in Comparative Context
    Why Compare Political Systems?
    Some Interpretations of the Mexican System
    Mexico's Significance in a Comparative Context

    2. Political-Historical Roots: The Impact of Time and Place
    The Spanish Heritage
    Nineteenth-Century Political Heritage
    The Revolutionary Heritage: Social Violence and Reform
    The Politics of Place: Interface with the United States

    3. Contemporary Political Culture: What Mexicans Believe and Their Consequences for Democracy
    Legitimacy: Support for a Democratic Political System
    Participation: Activating the Electorate
    Democracy: What Does It Mean for Mexicans?

    Political Attitudes and Their Origins: Interest, Knowledge, and Partisanship
    Income and Politics
    Education and Politics
    Religion and Politics
    Gender and Politics
    Region and Politics
    Age and Politics

    5. Rising to the Top: The Recruitment of Political Leadership in a Democratic Mexico
    The Formal Rules
    Informal Credentials: What Is Necessary to Rise to the Top in Mexican Politics
    The Rise of Women
    The Camarilla: Political Networking in Mexico
    The Rise and Decline of the Technocrat

    6. Groups and the State: An Altered Relationship in a Democratic Polity?
    The Residue of Corporatism
    Institutional Voices
    - The Military
    - The Church
    - Business
    - Organized Labor
    - Intellectuals and the Media
    Voices of Dissent
    - Nongovernmental Organizations
    - Social Movements
    - Drug Trafficking Organizations

    7. Mexico's Political Institutions: The Structure of Decision-Making
    The Executive Branch
    The Legislative Branch
    The Judicial Branch

    8. Expanding Participation: The Electoral Process
    Electoral Reforms
    The Democratic Transition and the 1988 and 1994 Presidential Elections
    The Establishment of Electoral Democracy: A Stepping Stone to a Functional Democracy
    Electoral Democracy and the Role of Elections
    Parties: Their Origins and Future in a Democratic Political Context
    - National Action Party
    - Democratic Revolutionary Party
    - Institutional Revolutionary Party

    9. External Politics: Relations with the United States
    National Security Issues
    Cultural Interface
    Economic Linkages

    10. Political and Economic Modernization: A Revolution?
    Bases for Economic Modernization
    The Rise of Economic Liberalization
    Mexico's Electoral Democracy and the Future

    Bibliographic Essay

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