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Downsizing the State: Privatization and the Limits of Neoliberal Reform in Mexico

Overview

Beginning in 1983, the Mexican government implemented one of the most extensive programs of market-oriented reform in the developing world. Downsizing the State examines a key element of this reform program: the privatization of public firms.

Drawing upon interviews with government officials, business executives, and labor leaders as well as data from government archives and corporate documents, MacLeod highlights the difficulties of linking market reforms to improved public ...

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Overview

Beginning in 1983, the Mexican government implemented one of the most extensive programs of market-oriented reform in the developing world. Downsizing the State examines a key element of this reform program: the privatization of public firms.

Drawing upon interviews with government officials, business executives, and labor leaders as well as data from government archives and corporate documents, MacLeod highlights the difficulties of linking market reforms to improved public welfare. Privatization failed to live up to its promise of raising living standards or decentralizing the economy. Indeed, privatization actually increased the concentration of wealth in Mexico while redirecting the economy toward foreign markets. These findings contribute to theoretical debates regarding state autonomy and the embeddedness of economic action.

MacLeod calls into question the autonomy of the Mexican state in its privatization program. He shows that the creation of markets where public firms once dominated has involved both the destruction of social relations and the construction of new relations and institutions to regulate the market.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is sociology of development as it should be practiced: close to the ground and unafraid of complexities.”

—Alejandro Portes, Princeton University

From the Publisher

“This is sociology of development as it should be practiced: close to the ground and unafraid of complexities.”

—Alejandro Portes, Princeton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271026985
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 6/24/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Dag MacLeod was a Fulbright fellow in Mexico in 1997 and received his PhD in sociology from the Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He currently manages the Office of Court Research at the Judicial Council of California where he conducts research on public policy and public administration.

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Tables and Figures

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

1. Privatization and Competing Perspectives on Economic Organization

2. Public Ownership and the Rise of State-Led Development

3. Privatization and the Demise of State-Led Development

4. The Turbulent Privatizations of Aerom eacute xico and Mexicana de Aviaci oacute n

5. Positive-Sum Games and the Sale of Telmex

6. The Transformation and Sale of the Mexican National Railroad

7. Economic Transformation and the Limits of Neoliberal Reform

Appendix

References

Index

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