New Directions in Mexico? A Review of Two Books.

by David Ronfeldt

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback5 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Is Mexico in a state of political transition from a democratic single-party system to a new system? In [Politics and Society] [in Mexico], Martin Needler maintains that the very success of the official party is leading to its erosion. He anticipates evolution either toward a two- or multiparty system that will include an internally more democratic Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), or, through force, toward an undemocratic single-party system. Daniel Cosio Villegas, in his [El Sistema Politico Mexicano: Las] [Posibilidades de Cambio], argues that Mexico's most serious political problem is to contain and even reduce the excessive power concentrated in the presidency and sustained by the PRI. But, says Cosio, no single source is likely to foment democratizing reforms, and antidemocratic tendencies may become stronger. Whereas important weaknesses limit the usefulness of Needler's book for advanced analysis, the reviewer believes that Cosio's essay provides today's best discussion of Mexico's possibilities for change. 5 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.