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The Challenge of Institutional Reform in Mexico

Riordan Roett, editor
ISBN: 978-1-55587-545-9
1995/16 pages/LC: 95-3465

"A notch above the rest in offering the reader a focused look at Mexican institutional reform at a time of critical political flux.... Readers will find the book’s essays highly illuminating of the political struggles now in play in a wide range of policy arenas."—Stephen P. Mumme, Perspectives on Political Science

"These essays provide both a very valuable overview of the social and political implications of economic reforms implemented in Mexico since the mid-1980s and insightful analyses of the key challenges confronting Mexico in the late 1990s."—American Political Science Review


The Salinas administration's reforms in Mexico generated both widespread attention and a host of questions. This book addresses those questions, examining the impact of the recent reforms on the state's relations with key social and political actors—labor, the peasantry, business, political parties, and the church—and assessing reform initiatives in the areas of education, human rights, and social welfare.

The authors consider the external, as well as the domestic, impetuses for reform, discuss the challenges ahead, and compare the path of reform in Mexico to that in other Latin American countries.


Riordan Roett is Sarita and Don Johnston Professor of Political Science and director of the Latin American Studies Program of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as founding director of the SAIS Center of Brazilian Studies and as director of the SAIS Program on U.S.-Mexican Relations. Dr. Roett is editor of Mexico's External Relations in the 1990s and Political and Economic Liberalization in Mexico and author of numerous books and articles on Latin America.


The Challenge of Institutional Reform in Mexico: An Introduction—R. Roett. STATE-SOCIETY RELATIONS AND INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE. Mexican Labor and Structural Reform under Salinas: New Unionism or Old Stalemate?—J.G. Samstad and R.B. Collier. Reforming Land Tenure in Mexico: Peasants, the Market, and the State—M.S. Grindle. Recent Electoral Reforms in Mexico: Prospects for a Real Multiparty Democracy—J. Alcocer V. Entrepreneurial Interests and Political Action in Mexico: Facing the Demands of Economic Modernization—M. Luna. The 1992 Reforms of Mexican Law on Religion: Propects of Changing State-Church Relations—R.J. Blancarte. PUBLIC POLICY REFORMS AND CHALLENGES. The Politics of Educational Reform in Mexico: Ambivalence Toward Change—G. Trejo. Designing Social Policy for Mexico's Liberalized Economy: From Social Services and Infrastructure to Job Creation—W.A. Cornelius. Civil- Military Relations and Internal Security in Mexico: The Undone Reform—M.E. Andersen. CONCLUSION. The Politics of Institutional Reform in Mexico and Latin America—R. Roett and G. Paz.