The Seven‐Month Itch? Neoliberal Politics, Popular Movements, and the Left in Mexico

Kathleen Bruhn

in The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780198781837
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598968 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 The Seven‐Month Itch? Neoliberal Politics, Popular Movements, and the Left in Mexico

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Expectations were that new popular‐based social movements would ally with the PRD in Mexico after the latter's dramatic showing under Cardenas in 1988. Within a short time, this was shown to be false, symbolized seven months after the election by the signing, by the Comité de Defensa Popular of Durango, of an agreement with Salinas (PRI) government. Using a variety of examples, the article shows why. First, there was the effective monopoly of resources by the PRI. Second, social elements in government programmes—such as Solidaridad—which emphasized public works rather than class‐oriented programmes. Third, the structure of the PRD, which limited social movement influences. Finally, the conflicts generated by the differences between ‘movement logic’, which looked to

substantive goals and local struggles, while the party sought electoral goals and national struggles. The result is the likelihood that movement‐party alliances will be ad hoc, informal, and perhaps, cyclical.

Keywords: Asamblea de Barrios; Cardenas; Comite de Defensa Popular; elections; party‐movement alliances; PRD; PRI; Salinas; Solidaridad

Chapter.  13174 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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