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Consolidating Mexico's Democracy

Paperback
, 384 pages

3 halftones, 17 line drawings

ISBN:
9780801892523
August 2009
$37.00

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Consolidating Mexico's Democracy

The 2006 Presidential Campaign in Comparative Perspective

In 2006, Felipe Calderón narrowly defeated Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico’s hotly contested presidential election. Mexico’s 2006 presidential race demonstrated the importance of contested elections in democratic consolidation. Consolidating Mexico’s Democracy is at once a close examination of this historic election and an original contribution to the comparative study of elections throughout the world.

The contributors to this volume—preeminent scholars from the fields of political science and government—make use of extensive research data to analyze the larger issues and voter practices at play in this election. With their exclusive use of panel surveys—where individuals are interviewed repeatedly to ascertain whether they have changed their voter preference during an election campaign—the contributors gather rich evidence that uniquely informs their assessment of the impact of the presidential campaign and the voting views of Mexican citizens.

The contributors find that, regardless of the deep polarization between the presidential candidates, the voters expressed balanced and nuanced political views, focusing on the perceived competence of the candidates. The essays here suggest the 2006 election, which was only the second fully free and competitive presidential election allowed by the Mexican government, edged the country closer to the pattern of public opinion and voting behavior that is familiar in well-established democracies in North America and Western Europe.

Jorge I. Domínguez is the Antonio Madero Professor of Mexican and Latin American Politics and Economics at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books, including Democratic Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean, also published by Johns Hopkins. Chappell Lawson is an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Building the Fourth Estate: Democratization and the Rise of a Free Press in Mexico. Alejandro Moreno is a professor of political science at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and author of Political Cleavages: Issues, Parties, and the Consolidation of Democracy.

"This book could not be based on stronger grounds in terms of the data employed, the top quality of the scholarly contributions, and the subject matter itself: the hardest fought, most closely contested, and perhaps highest stakes election in Mexico’s history."

"Political-campaign junkies will relish this numbers-rich review of the last Mexican presidential election."

" Consolidating Mexico's Democracy is incredibly ambitious in its scope of topics and the breadth and quality of its analysis. It should be required reading for those interested in Mexicans' political attitudes or the continued evolution of Mexico's parties."

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