The Metamorphosis of Leadership in a Democratic Mexico

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The Metamorphosis of Leadership in a Democratic Mexico is a broad analysis of Mexico's changing leadership over the past eight decades, stretching from its pre-democratic era (1935-1988), to its democratic transition (1988-2000) to its democratic period (2000-the present). In it, Roderic Camp, one of the most distinguished scholars of Mexican politics, seeks to answer two questions: 1) how has Mexican political leadership evolved since the 1930s and in what ways, beyond ideology, has the shift from a semi-authoritarian, one-party system to a democratic, electoral system altered the country's leadership? and 2) which aspects of Mexican leadership have been most affected by this shift in political models and when and why did the changes in leadership occur? Rather than viewing Mexico's current government as a true democracy, Camp sees it as undergoing a process of consolidation, under which the competitive electoral process has resulted in a system of governing institutions supported by the majority of citizens and significant strides toward plurality. Accordingly, he looks at the relationship between the decentralization of political power and the changing characteristics, experiences and paths to power of national leaders.

The book, which represents four decades of Camp's work, is based upon a detailed study of 3000 politicians from the 1930s through the present, incorporating regional media accounts and Camp's own interviews with Mexican presidents, cabinet members, assistant secretaries, senators, governors, and party presidents.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Using an unrivaled data set of 4,500 officeholders over 75 years of Mexico's history, which he has refined over decades, Camp reaches some remarkable but well-founded conclusions. Indeed, The Metamorphosis of Leadership in a Democratic Mexico may be the best contemporary study of the sociological, demographic, and political characteristics of a nation's ruling elites anywhere." —Perspectives on Politics

"Who leads Mexico? What difference has democratization made in determining who Mexican leaders are, and how have institutional changes affected the rise of new leaders? In this book, Roderic Camp addresses these fundamental questions. He is the premier scholar of Mexican leaders in many professions, sectors, and institutions. This work builds on, and crowns, a remarkable scholarly achievement carried out over four decades."
—Jorge I. Domínguez, Antonio Madero Professor of Mexican and Latin American Politics and Economics, Harvard University

"Roderic Camp, with the acuity made possible by three decades of investigation of the political system and by hundreds of interviews with politicians and other elites, has written a masterful narrative of recent Mexican events. He asks the right, tough questions: which produces change - violence or democracy? Has democracy promoted women politicians? Is one career more democratic than others? Each of his eleven chapters raises provocative, significant questions and then answers them. He places in context the most perplexing problems of the day, immigration to the U.S. and elsewhere, violence on the border, and illegal drug culture. Anyone interested in modern Mexico must read this book."
—William H. Beezley, Professor of History, University of Arizona, and co-editor of The Oxford History of Mexico

"Camp is the leading scholar on Mexican elites. Highly recommended."—CHOICE

"[Camp], the dean of studies of Mexican political leadership, captures the evolution of Mexico's political system from the 1930s to 2010. Many of his results are either counterintuitive - party militancy generally greater among Panistas than Priistas - or unexpected. A must-read for anyone who hopes to know Mexico"—Library of Congress Handbook of Latin American Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199742851
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/4/2010
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Roderic Ai Camp is Philip M. McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont McKenna College and serves on the Advisory Board of the Mexican Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in the Smithsonian Institution. His books include Politics in Mexico (OUP 2006) and Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know (OUP 2011).

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. All Politics is Local: Mexico's Local Path to Democracy?
3. The Fall and Rise of Party Militants
4. Democratic Demographics, Does Democracy Alter Politicians' Origins?
5. Has Democracy Favored Women Politicians?
6. The Rise and the Fall of the Economic Technocrats
7. Political Institutionalization and Public Policy, the Impact of the Alemán Generation
8. Is One Career More Democratic Than Another?
9. Violence and Democracy, Which Produces Change?
10. Governors: National Democrats of the Future?
11. Themes on Mexican Leadership and Democracy

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