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Local Mexico: Democratic Transitions in an Authoritarian Context

Patricia Olney
Local Mexico: Democratic Transitions in an Authoritarian Context
ISBN: 978-1-62637-683-0
2017/325 pages
A FirstForumPress Book
"A fascinating study.... Olney challenges many of our ideas about the significance of local transitions from the ruling PRI to opposition parties in Mexico's national movement toward democracy."—Kathleen Bruhn, University of California, Santa Barbara


Vicente Fox's 2000 election to the presidency in Mexico marked the end of more than 70 years of rule by the PRI, overturning what some observers referred to as "the perfect dictatorship." Since then, there has been much debate about the reasons for the PAN's successful challenge to decades of authoritarian rule. Patricia Olney makes a rich, nuanced contribution to that debate, explaining Mexico's transition to democracy from the perspective of municipal-level politics.


Patricia Olney is professor of political science at Southern Connecticut State University.


  • Mexico's Democratic Transition in Context.
  • Factional Defeats: Electoral Coups.
  • The Multiplication of the PRI.
  • The Case of Cacalchén.
  • The Division of the PRI.
  • The Case of Parácuaro.
  • Snowball Defeats: Electoral Revolts.
  • Anatomy of a Snowball Defeat.
  • The Case of Hunucmá.
  • Snowballs in Indigenous Municipalities.
  • The Case of Chemax.
  • Transformational Defeats: Electoral Revolutions.
  • Entrepreneurs and Transformational Defeats.
  • The Case of Zamora.
  • Conclusion.
  • Lessons Learned.