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Comparing Mexico. By: Matthew Babikow, Katie McComber Josh Rutledge, Mallory Speer, & Kailey Springer. Ove rv iew. Sovereignty, Authority and Power. • Political and Economic Change. • Citizens, Society, and The State. • Political Institutions. • Public Policy. Outline.

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comparing mexico

Comparing Mexico


Matthew Babikow, Katie McComber Josh Rutledge, Mallory Speer, &

Kailey Springer

ove rv iew
  • Sovereignty, Authority and Power

• Political and Economic Change

• Citizens, Society, and The State

• PoliticalInstitutions

• Public Policy

  • Mexico is a federal republic with a multiparty popularly elected president. It has a bicameral legislature (The Senate is the upper house, and the Chamber of Deputies is the lower house) and an independent judiciary.
  • It's system of currency is the Peso.
  • It is the largest Spanish speaking country in the world.
  • It's climate and it's terrain make the North a more hospitable area, and in the south cities tend to stick to the coast.
  • Catholicism was active in politics until 1920
outline continued
Outline Continued
  • Patron-Clientelism was a major part in politics up until recently, following sudden democratization. It contributes to a gigantic wealth gap between the rich and the poor.
  • In recent years, urbanization has rapidly increased, causing more problems between the rich and the poor.
  • Mexico was a colony of Spain up until 1910.
  • PEMEX is Mexico's pride and joy state owned organization, and has contributed towards their economic growth.
  • They have a first past the post electoral system. Most government positions are popularly elected.
sovereignty authority power
Sovereignty, Authority, & Power
  • LEGITIMACY: citizens generally view the government and its power as legitimate

A.) major source of legitimacy= Revolution of 1910-1911 ( Admire Revolution leaders such as Miguel Hidalgo, Benito Juarez, Emilio Zapata, Pancho Villa, and Lazaro Cardezas

-Similar to the legitimacy gained from Russia’s revolution

-Charisma valued as important leadership characteristic

-Elected officials are chosen by charisma in China

-Revolution legitimatized by creation of PRI

-Constitution written

--Created a democratic, three-branch government, but PRI was meant to stabilize political power through leaders

B.)Election of 2000

-Held minority of seats in both houses of legislature

-Today sources of power change continuously

sovereignty authority power1
Sovereignty, Authority, & Power
  • HISTORICAL TRADITIONS: stages= Colonialism, chaos of 19th and early 20th century, and recent economic development

A.) History of authoritarianism

-From colonial times ruled by Spain( viceroy- governor put in place by Spanish king) and military- political leaders

-Anti-colonialism brought principle of non-reelection created, which limited leaders to one term of service in any office

B.) Populism

-Revolutions of 1810 and 1910 included peasant basis that wanted more rights for Mexican citizens

-Zapatista Movement

--Ethnic based rebellion against Mexico’s government

C.) Power plays/ Competitive Splits

-ex: elites who led Revolution of 1810 and 1910, warlords/ caudillos 20th century, politicos vs. technicos of late 20th century

D.) Instability and Legitimacy Problems

-Most believe government is legitimate

-Current regime has instability

--Violence in north opposes authority

sovereignty authority power2
Sovereignty, Authority, & Power
  • POLITICAL CULTURE: Strong national identification


-Until 1920s, Catholic Church was involved in politics

-Often priests were leaders of populist movements

-During Revolution era, the government created an anti-cleric position; political influence has declined

B.) Patron-Clientelism= system based on personal connections and charismatic leaders

-Called camarillas(networks)

-Corruption= product of patron- Clientelism

-Emphasized by democratization and industrialization

-Presidential losses for PRI in 2000 and 2006 show that may be moving away from Clientelism

--Corporatism still huge

C.) Economic Dependency

-Spanish colony and shadow under United States

sovereignty authority power3
Sovereignty, Authority, & Power
  • GEOGRAPHIC INFLUENCE= one of most geographically diverse countries; influences political development

A.) Mountains and deserts

-Separate regions= Regionalism

-Make communication and transportation hard

-Rugged terrain restricts agriculture

B.) Varied Climates

C.) Natural Resources

-Lots of oil and silver

--Has problem managing resources

--Haven’t brought overall prosperity

sovereignty authority power4
Sovereignty, Authority, & Power

D.) Border with the United States

-Migration and dependency problems

E.) Population

-Most populous Spanish speaking country and still increasing

F.) Urban Population

-Rapidly urbanizing like China

-Shift from rural to urban in late 20th century disrupted politics; ex: Patron- client system

-Most live in interior cities or those along coast

political and economic change
Political and Economic Change

Presidential Dominance

  • For the longest time, the PRI dominated Mexico's system. With the one party system (similar to that in Russia), the office of the presidency had the ability to pass constitutional reforms despite the opinions of opposition parties, simply because the opposition parties were not getting elected. This was due, in part, to the large problem of patron-clientelism in Mexico, which kept the PRI in power for so long.
political and economic change1
Political and Economic Change
  • In recent years, ultimate political power in Mexico has undergone a change following democratization. The PRI began losing local elections, opposition parties started taking over the legislature and even the presidency. Vicente Fox was the start of that movement when he was elected as the president in 2000 as a member of the PAN. While this sudden competitiveness in elections occurred, the powers of the presidency were diminished. one reason why is because now that the legislature wasn't dominated by one party, it could actually do it's job as a check on presidential power.
political and economic change2
Political and Economic Change
  • The current president is a member of the PRI, which goes to show that it is not yet out of power. However, he has not challenged the rights of the legislature. He HAS brought in unprecedented amount of foreign investment to Mexico, in the hopes of turning it into a global competitor. President Nieto is changing a lot of things in Mexico, but he seems to be doing it with the legislature, rather than attempting to regain presidential power. The real issue now is the gap between the rich and poor.
political and economic change3
Political and Economic Change

Economic prosperity

  • Mexico joining the North American Free Trade Agreement was a major step forward for their economic prosperity. It led to the introduction of free trade in Mexico, not just with North America, but with the world. Their once singular export, oil, is no longer relied on as their only trade. However, as the packet pointed out, NAFTA is not as integrated as the European Union, because the issue of immigration is not addressed. In the EU, immigration is welcomed, and people may move freely throughout the member nations. This is not true for NAFTA. Nonetheless, economic liberalization from state controlled growth to international trade has improved Mexico's economic standing.
citizens society and the state cleavages
Citizens, Society, and The StateCleavages
  • Drawing similarities with other newly industrializing countries such as China, a rural/urban cleavage has emerged as the industrialization and urban sprawl, along with the downfall of the PRI, has resulted in 75% of Mexicans living in the cities. This is characteristic of countries in the process of developing strong economies.
  • Conflicts have emerged between the rural Mexicans, who historically support the PRI, and urban citizens, who increasingly have supported the PRD and the PAN.
  • The urban/rural conflict also represents the growing wealth difference, which is also evident in rapidly industrializing China. The growth of urban jobs has caused middle and upper class Mexicans to prosper, while rural, poor citizens remain much the same.
  • Cleavages also exist between the North and the South. As with Nigeria, Mexico has found that two different “groups” have emerged, with Northerners being more prosperous and open to a market-based economy, while the Southerners remain relatively poorer. However, unlike Nigeria, the conflict has not become particularly violent or dangerous.
  • Finally, ethnic conflicts have emerged as the Amerindian people are unhappy with the more prosperous Mestizos. Mexico has able to control it’s ethnic divisions to small scale protests, unlike the ethnic violence that has occurred in Africa, namely Nigeria.
citizens society and the state relationship with the government during pri rule
Citizens, Society, and The StateRelationship with the Government during PRI Rule
  • From the Mexican Revolution to the change in power away from the PRI in 2000, the relationship between the citizens and the state was based on Patron-Clientelism.
  • Since Mexico was a one party state, citizens had no real political options and had to support the PRI, much like the Chinese and the former U.S.S.R. citizens had/have no option other than support the Communist Party. Political options and real political participation by citizens is nonexistent in all three circumstances.
  • Because only one party existed, citizen “participation” took the form of often informal political compromises, rewards, and agreements among the political leaders, the citizens, and other organizations, such as businesses.
  • Under the Patron-Client System, poor rural Mexicans would give support and votes to the PRI in exchange for rewards and benefits, such as government jobs. As there was no political opposition or checks and balances, the PRI-led government could essentially do anything by manipulating and receiving the support of others through the System.
  • Although the PRI is not a communist party in any way, PRI-led Mexico draws similarities among China and the former U.S.S.R. as political participation essentially consisted of citizens having no choice but to accept and support political leaders in return for benefits. Unlike China and the U.S.S.R., however, Mexico also used State Corporatism as a sort of Patron-Client System for businesses, where businesses would informally exchange agreements and support with the political elite.
citizens society and the state relationship with the government post pri rule
Citizens, Society, and The StateRelationship with the government post PRI Rule
  • With the 2000 election and the shift of power away from the PRI, Mexican citizens are beginning to be able to have “a say” in government in the form of real political participation.
  • As three parties have emerged, with the PAN and the PRD challenging PRI rule, citizens now can vote for the party they feel best represents them. Citizens can choose candidates they agree with politically, rather than be forced to support PRI candidates.
  • The creation of multiple parties has created a new phenomena in Mexico that is present in Great Britain, the United States, and other developed countries; political completion and gridlock. Although not to the degree of the United States, fierce party competition has been created between the parties, who must now fight for influence and citizen support. This has created a new role for citizens, who now can join the political completion in the form of rallies and local campaigns.
  • Despite the political liberalization of the government’s relationship with the people, remnants of the Patron-Client System still exist. For example, many Mexicans, including the opposition candidate Obrador of the PRD, considered the PAN victory in 2006 to contain voter fraudulence. With the recent election of Nieto, a PRI member, Mexican citizens still wonder if illegality was involved. Still, the degree of political corruption and informal networking is certainly much lower than the days of strict PRI one-party rule.
citizens society and the state protests
Citizens, Society, and The StateProtests
  • Through the process of co-potation, the government of Mexico has historically accommodated and responded positively to political and social protests. This draws contrasts with authoritarian regimes, such as China, which quickly puts down any potential protests. This shows that Mexico is much more democratic now and during PRI-rule.
  • For example, a student protest in 1968 resulted in the government increasing spending on social programs and including more student activists in government.
  • The Zapatists uprising was a result of dissatisfied Amerindians in the southern state of Chiapas protesting wealth and social inequality. While the movement has recently died down, citizens in the states still feel that the Amerindians are underrepresented in government and unequal to the Mestizos in wealth.
  • In 2006, protests broke out in Oaxaca, where activist groups sought to get rid of Ruiz, the unpopular PRI governor. The president at the time, Vicente Fox, quickly stopped the protest. This shows that Mexico does not always follow the process of co-potation and may put down protests or rebellions.
  • Since many protests have happened after 2000, it is clear that the shift of power away from the PRI has not reduced the number of protests. If anything, citizens may be becoming aware of their political voice and their ability to influence government through protests.
citizens society and the state voting
Citizens, Society, and The StateVoting
  • During PRI-rule, voter turnout was very high, as voters would receive benefits for voting in a part of the Patron-Client System. The polls were highly corrupt and opposition candidates had no chance of winning, even at the local level. While some countries, such as China, allowed very local leaders to deviate from the central party, Mexico retained strict PRI control at all levels of government.
  • After the 2000 election, voter turnout decreased, but voters now had their votes actually count towards the election of leaders. 60% of citizens voted in 2006, which shows that voting has decreased, with the turnout being 78% in 1994.
  • Region clearly influences voting behavior, as most Mexicans in the north, who are more prosperous and influenced by the United States, tend to support the pro-business policies of the PAN party. In the more rural south and Mexico’s large inner cities, citizens are more likely to support the social programs of the PRD party.
  • Citizens with a higher education were more inclined to vote for the PAN and the PRD parties, with 42% of voters with a college education voting for PAN and 38% for the PRD. This shows that Mexico may be moving towards a two-party left-right system, similar to Britain and the United States. The PRI only received 14% of the votes from college educated citizens, showing a trend away from the PRI party and towards more modern politics and democratic political competitiveness.
citizens society and the state civil society
Citizens, Society, and The StateCivil Society
  • In Maoist China, the communist party was able to control all civil society and all business and outside interests. Despite the PRI being the only party, during PRI-rule, the government did not control outside interests and simply attempted to appease them through rewards and benefits in the Patron-Client System. These groups still existed independently of government, however. They just didn’t challenge PRI rule because of the benefits received.
  • Because the businesses were independent of government, they began to be discontent with PRI rule, despite the benefits received under the Patron-Client System. They formed the PAN party in 1939 and finally successfully challenged PRI rule in 2000. A large part of the PAN’s political success has been the unparalleled support from Mexican businesses and corporations.
  • As Mexico becomes more democratic and politically competitive, the country may become a pluralist or a neo-corporatist country. Like Great Britain, the United States, or some of Russia, Mexico would have outside interest groups constantly vying for governmental influence. Although Mexico clearly won’t have civil society and interest groups to the degree of nations like the United States, it may still gain some aspects of civil society with the shift towards a more democratic government.
political institutions
Political Institutions

Comparing Mexico and Russia

political institutions1
Political Institutions

Comparing Mexico and the United Kingdom

political institutions2
Political Institutions

Comparing Mexico and Iran

public policy
Public Policy


  • Fox’s Reforms

-A guest worker program

-amnesty for illegal immigrants

-increase in visas issued to workers

  • Busch’s Response

-Busch tried to get it to pass but then September 11, 2001 happened and it was not passed due to security fears

- Until recently it was forgotten

  • Russia is a country that also has issues with migration. People that lived in previous Soviet Russia are not content with being a part of Russia and the new government laws. Many are migrating to states like Chechnya that are trying to recede from Russia as its government.
public policy1
Public Policy

Drug Trafficking

  • Corruption-officials and workers in the government were bribed by the cartels to look the other way to what was happening.
  • La Palm- Was a prison raid where they purposefully went in to clear out all corrupt workers to gain control of the high security prison again.
  • There was an increase in brutal murders and organized crime, which were most often police officers. Many high ranking police officials were killed and it sparked the U.S.’s help within the county to stop drug trafficking. The big push came in 2011 with the DEA stepping in to help Mexican counter –narcotics.
  • Another country that had violence issues, though due to cleavages not drugs, was Nigeria. It had mass and brutal murders due to ethnicity and the colonial elite being favored. Many tribes in Nigeria were greatly angry and upset that the elite were the ones getting education and money from their oil revenues and they were not. The corruption that came with it is very similar to Mexico as it also has created a very untrusting population.
public policy2
Public Policy


  • After the PRI party was no longer in power of the government the transparency and legitimacy grew.
  • Media- The media was actually allowed to criticize the government again and what they were doing.
  • Parties- there became three parties and the Patron-Clientelism system slowly has fallen out of favor. The three parties are:




  • The other country that had an issue with transparency was Iran. For the longest time the information they got was monitored and restricted but when they became more westernized with the loosening of the reins on information they could get became much more open. The media became allowed to criticize its own government for the first time, they were allowed to access social media and here what the rest of the world got to hear. It was short lived, however, and Iran no longer was allowed to unlike Mexico who has had it since the PRI fell from majority.
the end

I don’t always spend 3hrs at Panera bread

But when I do it’s for a Mexico project