Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition

Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition

Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition

Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition

Synopsis

As electoral politics in Mexico have become more open and democratic, the country's economy also has been thoroughly restructured and new ideas about government, state-society relations, and Mexico's place in the international system have taken hold. Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition explores these interrelated trends. Offering fresh perspectives on the contemporary problems on the Mexican agenda, the authors cogently discuss the politics of change, the challenges of social development, and the realities of building a productive, mutually beneficial U.S.-Mexico relationship.

Excerpt

Jorge G. Castañeda

Mexico is undergoing a far-reaching process of reform and renewal. The federal elections held on July 2, 2000, showed the degree of maturity attained by the country's political institutions. For the first time in seven decades, an opposition candidate became president as a result of free, fair, and uncontested elections. This marked the end of an era of authoritarianism and corporate politics. More important, it also signaled the beginning of a new relationship between Mexican society and its government, a relationship based on trust, accountability, and the rule of law.

Mexico's democratic change has also paved the way for new and more creative forms of cooperation with our partners abroad. The years since the end of the Cold War have seen intense, wide-ranging, and confused debates about the nature of international relations. A lack of longterm strategic vision has characterized all nations' foreign policy thinking, and the crucial challenges that we face as we build new bridges and relationships in the Western Hemisphere are no exception. Based on our rich and diverse national identities, the nations of the Americas must strive to exploit their similarities and articulate long-term national interests that will mutually reinforce each nation throughout the continent. It is in this context that we have a unique opportunity to reaffirm and multiply the ties that bind Mexico to other countries and regions of the world.

Evidently, Mexico's primary scope of action is the Americas. A wide margin for constructive engagement exists today throughout the Western Hemisphere. Thus, all American nations must engage in those issues in which we all have a fundamental stake: the preeminence of negotiation over the use of force; a common concern for the causes of . . .

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