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The Transformation of Rural Mexico: Reforming the Ejido Sector

Wayne A. Cornelius and David Myhre, editors
ISBN: 978-1-87836-731-0
1998/437 pages
US-Mexico Contemporary Perspectives Series
Distributed for the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego

"This is an excellent resource book on the effects that the 1992 modification of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution is having on the ejido land tenure system.... At least two myths that urban intellectuals hold about the ejido reform are dispelled by this volume: first, that most agricultural land is being swiftly privatized; and second, that those ejidatarios who were already targeting the international agricultural market are among the most favored by the new agricultural credit structure."—Gabriela Vargas-Cetina, American Anthropologist

"[This volume] provides a welcome correction to earlier debates about the Article 27 reforms. Presenting recent data and case study research by 26 noted scholars of Mexico, the authors argue that while the impact of the Article 27 reforms may be potentially significant in the long run, the results are in fact slower moving and more regionally heterogeneous than most on both sides of the policy debate predicted. The volume's breadth and lucidity make it useful reading for scholars of Mexican rural sociology and for analysts of the political economy of free-market transitions."—Heather Williams, Hispanic American Historical Review


Mexico's rural reforms of the early 1990s were designed to bring corn growers and other largely subsistence farmers into the cultivation of crops with appeal in global markets. This was to be accomplished through the reduction and eventual elimination of subsidies and guarantee prices to basic crops and a relaxation of tenure constraints on ejido land. Contributors to this anthology give us a close look at how the reforms have operated in fact, and how the approximately 25 million Mexicans still living in the countryside (about one-quarter of the nation's population) are responding to the ending of Mexico's 50-year experiment with communal land.

Contributors include: Kirsten Appendini Helga Baitenmann, Francisco A. Bernal, Wayne A. Cornelius, Billie R. DeWalt, Heliodoro Díaz Cisneros, Luin Goldring, Neil Harvey, Gareth A. Jones, Pilar López Sierra, Robin R. Marsh, Julio Moguel, Gail Mummert, David Myhre, Gerardo Otero, María del Refugio Rodríguez González, David Runsten, Lois Stanford, Lynn Stephen, J. Edward Taylor, Esteban Valtierra-Pacheco, Peter M. Ward, Scott Whiteford, Antonio Yúnez-Naude, Carol Zabin, and Sergio Zendejas.


Wayne A. Cornelius is director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS), University of California, San Diego (UCSD).