Mexico's Mandarins: Crafting a Power Elite for the Twenty-First Century

By Roderic Ai Camp | Go to book overview

9
Decision Making, Networking,
and Organizations

The first two parts of this book set forth an argument about the existence and influence of power elites in Mexico, analyzing in detail the means by which influential Mexicans are linked to each other within and across power elite circles and further developing the crucial role mentors have played in the recruitment, networking, and socialization process. Part 2 identifies the significance of various agents of socialization which have contributed to important power elite values and provides substantial evidence demonstrating the impact of elite educational experiences both at home and abroad. Part 3 explores the connection between networking and decision making, the emergence of certain elite prototypes, and the consequences of power elite leadership in the recent past and into the future.

This chapter attempts to incorporate the special characteristics of power elite networking to demonstrate how influential Mexicans use their informal associations in formal institutional settings to influence major policy decisions. In the case of public officials, it argues that informal networking linkages clearly reinforced the ability of economic policymakers in the executive branch to implement their macroeconomic philosophy, including ideas and techniques learned in the United States.

Networking occurs in many contexts and through numerous sources. In postindustrial societies, as suggested earlier, the theoretical focus characterizing networking literature is biased toward organizations. This institutional emphasis, which is natural in such countries, also has a place, however atypical, in Latin American countries. In Mexico, even if organizations are not always paramount in the networking process, they provide significant links.

Two important points are worth keeping in mind about the extent to which organizational linkages serve as primary vehicles for connecting

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