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Review: An Electoral Route to Democracy? Mexico's Transition in Comparative Perspective

Reviewed Works: Taking on Goliath: The Emergence of a New Left Party and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico by Kathleen Bruhn; Democratizing Mexico: Public Opinion and Electoral Choices by Jorge I. Domínguez, James A. McCann; El tiempo de la legitimidad: Elecciones, autoritarismo y democracia en México by Juan Molinar Horcasitas; Political Reformism in Mexico: An Overview of Contemporary Mexican Politics by Stephen D. Morris; Opposition Government in Mexico by Victoria E. Rodríguez, Peter M. Ward
Review by: Joseph L. Klesner
Comparative Politics
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Jul., 1998), pp. 477-497
DOI: 10.2307/422335
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/422335
Page Count: 21
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An Electoral Route to Democracy? Mexico's Transition in Comparative Perspective
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Abstract

The literature on democratic transitions has emphasized the role of elite negotiations, or pacting. The study of Mexican politics has also focused heavily on political elites. However, new work on Mexican politics and regime liberalization places much greater emphasis on other dimensions of politics, especially on elections. Electoral politics has always contributed to the dominance of Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party by giving it legitimacy and allowing it to rule without excessive repression. Opposition parties have used elections to push for political liberalization, and their success in state and municipal elections has helped build opposition organizations and popularity. The study of democratic transitions would benefit from more study of electoral and mass politics.

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