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The Politics of the dept crisis in Mexico (1982-1988)

Martinez-Cantu, Esther (1992) The Politics of the dept crisis in Mexico (1982-1988). PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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There have been numerous studies of the debt crisis from global, Latin American and even Mexican perspectives. However, very few studies have so far addressed the political dimension of the crisis and examined the effects of the crisis on political stability and democratic practice in Mexico. This research focuses on the political dimension of the crisis, in order to make good this important omission in the existing literature. This thesis explores in particular two closely related questions about the practice of politics in Mexico. First, it explores the role which political debates and political pressures have played in shaping the response of the Mexican state to one of the gravest crises faced by the country. Second, it illuminates the common political practice of the Mexican state. This work analyses the political forces involved in the domestic debate surrounding the negotiations between the Mexican state and the IMF during this crisis. It interprets the various economic and political pressures that different Mexican social groups exercised upon the Mexican state. The social actors taken into account in this study are people involved in the political arena such as politicians, bureaucrats and senior members of the state; institutions with socio-economic interests inside civil society such as workers' unions, chambers of private organizations, banks, peasants' organizations, the church, the press and civil associations. The thesis demonstrates how public opinion generated a new political debate through the media. This political debate inside Mexican society was substantially extended and intensified, stimulating the formation of new political alternatives. The awakening of a political consciousness contributed to the generation of an important debate which shaped the contest of the presidential political campaign in 1988. A new political coalition, the FDN, emerged, presenting a serious alternative presidential candidate. In the end, the governing PRI won the presidential elections; nevertheless, many Mexicans gave their support to both the left-wing FDN and the right-wing PAN, instead of to the PRI. Thus, the economic debt crisis culminated in a political electoral crisis during the 1988 presidential elections. To sum up, the thesis proves that the debt crisis as an issue opened up the political debate and led to a political crisis. The earlier process of political reform initiated in Mexico in 1977 opened the space for alternative political parties and views. The debt crisis was taken up as an issue by these alternative groups which encouraged the debate. The debt crisis itself thus reinforced the process of political transformation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.561046
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2012 14:25
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3115

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