Andreas Schedler

in Politics in the Developing World

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2017 | ISBN: 9780198737438
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191851001 | DOI:

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This chapter examines Mexico’s gradual and largely peaceful transition to democracy, followed by a sudden descent into civil war. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, Mexico’s major challenge was political democratization. Today, it is organized criminal violence. Vicente Fox’s victory in the presidential elections of 2000 ended more than seventy years of hegemonic party rule. However, a civil war soon broke out, sparking a pandemic escalation of violence related to organized crime. The chapter first traces the history of Mexico from its independence in 1821 to the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 before discussing the foundations of electoral authoritarianism in the country. It then considers the structural bases of regime change in Mexico, along with the process of democratization by elections. It concludes by analysing why a civil war broke out in Mexico following its transition to democracy.

Keywords: democracy; civil war; Mexico; democratization; Vicente Fox; violence; organized crime; electoral authoritarianism; regime change; election

Chapter.  5332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations ; Politics of Development

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