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Democracy in Mexico

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This article attempts to answer three sets of questions relevant to the democratic transition in Mexico. It explores the character of the past (and to some extent present) authoritarian system. It asks whether and to what extent democratic transition is actually underway in Mexico. Finally, it seeks to relate political change to the economic transformation in that country over the past decade. The approach which the article takes is primarily historical, and political stability is explained in terms of the ability of the political elite to adapt flexibly to changing social and economic conditions. The article also raises the issue of whether the political elite would be willing to accept a transition to full-scale democracy with all its attendant uncertainties. It concludes by asking whether the devaluation of December 1994 might finally have undermined the ability of the ruling party to maintain public support.

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