Rural Protest and the Making of Democracy in Mexico, 1968–2000

Paperback | April 30, 2012

byDolores Trevizo

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When the PRI fell from power in the elections of 2000, scholars looked for an explanation. Some focused on international pressures, while others pointed to recent electoral reforms. In contrast, Dolores Trevizo argues that a more complete explanation takes much earlier democratizing changes in civil society into account. Her book explores how largely rural protest movements laid the groundwork for liberalization of the electoral arena and the consolidation of support for two opposition parties, the PAN on the right and the PRD on the left, that eventually mounted a serious challenge to the PRI. She shows how youth radicalized by the 1968 showdown between the state and students in Mexico City joined forces with peasant militants in nonviolent rural protest to help bring about needed reform in the political system. In response to this political effervescence in the countryside, agribusinessmen organized in peak associations that functioned like a radical social movement. Their countermovement formulated the ideology of neoliberalism, and they were ultimately successful in mobilizing support for the PAN. Together, social movements and the opposition parties nurtured by them contributed to Mexico’s transformation from a one-party state into a real electoral democracy nearly a hundred years after the Revolution.

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When the PRI fell from power in the elections of 2000, scholars looked for an explanation. Some focused on international pressures, while others pointed to recent electoral reforms. In contrast, Dolores Trevizo argues that a more complete explanation takes much earlier democratizing changes in civil society into account. Her book explo...

Dolores Trevizo is Professor of Sociology at Occidental College.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 8.98 × 6.02 × 0.56 inPublished:April 30, 2012Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271037881

ISBN - 13:9780271037882

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Preface and Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction The Rural Roots of Mexico’s Nascent Democracy: The Role of Peasants and Agrarian Capitalists in Opposition Politics

1. Social Movements and Democratization

2. The “Banner of 1968”: The Student Movement’s Democratizing Effects

3. State Repression and the Dispersal of Radicals into Mexico’s Countryside, 1970–1975

4. Capitalists on the Road to Political Power in Mexico: Class Struggle, Neopanismo, and the Birth of Democracy

5. The Rural Sources of the PRD’s Electoral Resiliency

Conclusion The Post-1968 Struggle for Democracy in Rural Mexico

Appendixes

References

Index

Editorial Reviews

“In a sweeping and ambitious work, part historiography, part social movement ethnography, and part quantitative assessment of human rights and democratization, Dolores Trevizo has convincingly called several aspects of [the stylized story of Mexico’s transition to democracy] into question in her opus Rural Protest and the Making of Democracy in Mexico. This smart and enterprising book offers an important critique of the conventional wisdom, and, even more important, lays the groundwork for a more nuanced formulation of Mexico’s dramatic transition. . . .“. . . The implications of this important book will be with us for some time as we use her wisdom to consider how social movements can take on authoritarians and win, staging their battles from the countryside as well as from the cities. Rural Protest and the Making of Democracy in Mexico is necessary reading for all students of democracy, human rights, social movements, and political opportunity structures, from the Suez Canal to Tierra del Fuego.”—Todd Eisenstadt, American Journal of Sociology