|1995/238 pages/LC: 94-31535|
Erfani focuses on the concept of sovereignty as not only a legal status, but also a political myth. She traces the struggles of Mexico's federal governments from 1940 through the 1970s to sustain a myth equating legal sovereignty with state strength vis—vis the world economy. She then addresses the demise of that myth and the ensuing shift in the 1980s toward the symbolism and rhetoric of a strong private economy.
In the 1990s, proponents of NAFTA—seeking to dismantle Mexico's legal basis for state intervention in the domestic economy—claim to be replacing the failed legal-political sovereignty of the state with the economic sovereignty of the private sector. This rhetoric of economic strength, concludes Erfani, holds as much potential for fragmenting, as it does for unifying, the national political-economic order.