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Presentation on theme: "CITIZENS, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE"— Presentation transcript:


Mexican citizens have interacted with their government through an informal patron-client relationship Government has upper hand in determining which interests to respond to and which interests to ignore Recently, political parties have become more competitive and democratic

3 Cleavages Cleavages of Mexico are often crosscutting, but have recently coincided as the north and south have been at odds. Cleavages with the most direct impact on political system are: Social class Urban v. rural Mestizo v. Amerindian North v. South

4 RURAL: EARLY 20th Century
URBAN: PRESENT DAY PRI and the patron-client system controlled largely illiterate peasants in exchange for support Today’s Mexico is more than 75% urban Literacy rate is about 90% Voters are less inclined to support the PRI Often receptive to political and economic reform Urban v. Rural

5 Urban v. Rural Cleavage

6 MESTIZO V. AMERINDIAN A blend of European and Amerindian descent
Possess most of Mexico’s wealth More likely to live in poverty in marginalized rural areas As many as 30% of Mexicans consider themselves Amerindian MESTIZO V. AMERINDIAN

7 NORTH V. SOUTH Very dry and mountainous Population is more prosperous
Substantial middle class with relatively high levels of education Generally more supportive of a market-based economy Largely subtropical Generally less influenced by urban areas and the U.S. Larger amount of population is Amerindian Lower average income than in the North Less educational opportunities and skilled labor Distrustful of central government NORTH V. SOUTH

8 SOCIAL CLASS Gini coefficient was .48 in 2009 (economic inequality is high) In 2002: The poorest 10% of the population earned about 1.6% of Mexico’s income The wealthiest 10% earned 35.6% of Mexico's income This economic divide translates into higher infant mortality rates, lower levels of education, and shorter life expectancies among the poor Mexico’s middle class has been growing due to the “informal economy” and from new industries and service businesses

9 Political Participation in Mexico

10 History of Political Participation
Mexico’s culture of political participation has been characterized by revolution and protest since the Revolution of However, most Mexicans have been subject to authoritarian rule by an elite class, especially under the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) The PRI dominated Mexican politics for most of the 20th century (beginning in 1929)

11 History of Political Participation
Revolution and Protest: Revolution of Caudillos (Warlords): Formation of PRI under President Calles in 1929 1968 Student Protest in Tlatelolco Plaza 1994 Zapatista Uprising 2006 Oaxaca Protest

12 History of Political Participation
Left: a 1968 student propaganda poster Above: Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista Rebellion

13 The Patron-Client System
Political system emphasizes compromise among elites Behind-the-scenes conflict resolution encouraged Distribution of rewards to contacts and supporters Rooted in the PRI’s camarilla system, which granted peasants and supporters job and security benefits in exchange for votes

14 The Patron-Client System
Still a determining factor in political participation today, especially in regional elections 2006 Presidential Election: losing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador accused the PAN party of election fraud based in the camarilla system

15 Voter Behavior Before the 1990s, the PRI controlled elections on the local, state, and national levels However, competing parties have existed since the 1930s Voter turnout was high in the 1994 (78% turnout), but has since declined (60% turnout in 2006)

16 Voter Behavior Some factors that influenced voter behavior in the election of 2006 were: Region (North v. South) Education (university education v. uneducated poor) Income

17 Civil Society in Mexico

18 Linkage Institutions-Political Parties
PAN Party to the right of PRI PRI’s oldest opposition party Advocates less government intervention Appeals to middle class, northerners, and the educated. PRI Ruled as a one party system Corporatist structure Patron-client system Appeals to rural people, and residents of southern Mexico PRD Party left of the PRI Appeals to the young, populists, and some intellectuals

19 Media The media had little power to criticize or to influence opinion because of the PRI Media became more independent in the 1980s as he PRI began to lose is hold Today there are many more international news sources such as CNN and BBC Mexicans now have access to a much broader range of political opinions

20 Interest Groups The Mexican government responds to demands of interest groups through accommodation and co-optation Because private organizations have been linked to the government for so long, development of Mexico's civil society has been slow In rural areas, peasant organizations are encouraged through he ejido system which grants land to these organizations from the government Since 1980 these groups have demanded greater independence from the government In recent years they have come together to promote better education, health services, and environmental protections As these groups have strengthened, the political system has had to negotiate with them, transforming civil society

21 Women’s Role in Mexico In the early 20th century, women had few political rights 1922: region of Yucatan gives women political rights to vote in local and regional elections 1947: Women allowed to run for office at municipal levels 1953: Full women’s suffrage granted to all provinces

22 Women’s Role in Mexico Women have traditionally been responsible for household maintenance and child rearing Women were important in the Mexican revolutions of the early 1900s Lost much of their political influence under President Porfirio Diaz Women and children have been traditional targets of human trafficking since the early 20th century Women played a significant role in the Mexican Student Movement of 1968, protesting for income and opportunity equality

23 Women’s Role in Mexico Today, women are an important force in Mexican politics: parties are bound by law to run at least 30% women for the proportional representation elections However, no major party has yet fielded a female presidential candidate, although the minor party Social Democrats and Farmers ran Patricia Mercado in 2006

24 Maria Antonieta Perez Reyes
A representative of the province of Juarez in the Mexican Congress.


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