Prospects for Democracy in Mexico

Front Cover
George W. Grayson
Transaction Publishers - History - 310 pages

Second only to the Soviet Union, Mexico is the country most important to the security and well-being of the United States. Its stability is therefore a major concern. As Prospects for Democracy in Mexico documents, there are problems. This ancient Aztec nation now suffers the worst economic conditions since its revolution exploded in 1910. The economy has been as flat as a tortilla since the oil boom fizzled in the early 1980s, and the purchasing power of workers has declined 50 percent in recent years. Open and disguised unemployment afflicts nearly half of the 26-million-member workforce. External debt keeps upward pressure on interest rates, while the government and private sector must meet $12 billion annually in foreign-debt payments. Widespread pollution continues to contaminate the already fetid air of metropolitan areas such as Mexico City.

Similar conditions in the United States or Western Europe would ignite demonstrations, catalyze strikes, and launch the careers of demagogic politicians. Mexico remains remarkably quiet-with discontent channeled though legitimate institutions such as the Congress, mass media, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). This volume dissects the current situation and forecasts future developments. Diplomats, scholars, public officials, and businessmen contribute sixteen chapters and answer a number of the most critical questions.

It is unlikely that this collection will be surpassed for comprehensive coverage and intellectual balance for years to come. It is supported by in-depth statistical tables covering every phase of Mexican life: from unemployment, religious affiliation, inflation rates, presidential electoral results, military expenditures, and the size of the armed forces. In addition, the volume concludes with a selected biography that Latin Americanists, political scientists, and policy-makers will find essential.

George W. Grayson is the Class of 1938 Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. His books include The Mexican Labor Machine: Power, Politics, and Patronage (1989); Oil and Mexican Foreign Policy (1988); The United States and Mexico; Patterns of Influence (1984); and The Politics of Mexican Oil (1980)

 

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Contents

1 The Presidency the Party and the State
3
2 The Bureaucracy
15
3 Electoral Trends
35
4 Voter Abstentionism
63
5 The Presidential Nomination Process
75
6 The Military
85
7 The Press
93
8 The Church
113
Radio and Television 19551986
267
Military Expenditures and Number of Armed Forces 19651985
268
Gross Domestic Product GDP and Percent Change of GDP 19401987
269
Mexican Exports and Imports 19401988
271
Inflation Rates 19401988
273
External Debt 19501988
274
Labor Disputes19401988
275
Production and Export of Petroleum 19401988
277

9 The Labor Movement
123
10 Structural Reforms
149
A Mexican Government Perspective
161
A Private Sector Perspective
173
A Bankers Perspective
179
14 Demography Development and Migration
203
The Most Divisive Bilateral Issue
217
16 USMexican Energy Relations
231
17 A LoveHate Relationship with North America
237
Vital Statistics 19401983
263
Unemployment 19401988
265
University Enrollment 19401984 in thousands
266
Flow of Foreign Direct Investment in Mexico 19401986
279
USMexican Trade 19401986
280
US Direct Investment in Mexico 19501987
282
Legal and Illegal Mexicans Migrating to the US 19501288
284
Presidential Elections 19281988
286
National Election Results for Chamber of Deputies 19611985
288
Mexican Political Parties and Candidates 1988
289
Gacetilla Prices of Nine Leading Newspapers
291
Selected Bibliography
292
Index
296
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