Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Other Half of the Centaur

Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Other Half of the Centaur

Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Other Half of the Centaur

Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Other Half of the Centaur

Synopsis

Mexico is currently undergoing a crisis of violence and insecurity that poses serious threats to democratic transition and rule of law. This is the first book to put these developments in the context of post-revolutionary state-making in Mexico and to show that violence in Mexico is not the result of state failure, but of state-making. While most accounts of politics and the state in recent decades have emphasized processes of transition, institutional conflict resolution, and neo-liberal reform, this volume lays out the increasingly important role of violence and coercion by a range of state and non-state armed actors. Moreover, by going beyond the immediate concerns of contemporary Mexico, this volume pushes us to rethink longterm processes of state-making and recast influential interpretations of the so-called golden years of PRI rule. Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico demonstrates that received wisdom has long prevented the concerted and systematic study of violence and coercion in state-making, not only during the last decades, but throughout the post-revolutionary period. The Mexican state was built much more on violence and coercion than has been acknowledged- until now.

Excerpt

Wil G. Pansters

You must understand, therefore, that there are two ways of fighting:
by law and by force.… the ancient writers taught princes about
this by an allegory … [of] the centaur, so that he might train them
his way. All the allegory means, in making the teacher half beast half
man, is that a prince must know how to act according to the nature
of both, and that he cannot survive otherwise.

—Niccolò Machiavelli

Today, as in the past, the fundamental reinterpretations of Mexican
history must originate in a moment of frightful crisis.

—Arthur Schmidt

Violence in MEXICO: a first appraisal

Acapulco, Guerrero, Wednesday, July 12, 2006. in the evening, the police discovered the dead bodies of two men wrapped in blankets in an abandoned van in the Costa Azul neighborhood of the mundane tourist center. One belonged to Eusebio Palacios Ortiz, the police chief of Acapulco and a former Navy officer, who had been abducted the previous day upon leaving a cinema with his family. the other was Marcelo García Nava, a Navy intelligence agent who worked for the dea and was, presumably, engaged in undercover operations related to drug-trafficking.

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