Mexico Political Culture and Patterns of Interaction

Mexican political culture can be difficult to understand, because it draws from several different cultures and ideologies, including: Indian inactiveness, Spanish greed, Catholicism, populist nationalism, and European anti-clericalism.   It is not surprising that these vastly different strands, never blended.  Adding to the diversity, Mexico is socially and culturally badly integrated, never forming a coherent whole. Mexico’s controlling PRI established co-optation as a means to gain support from citizens, using parton-clientelism to provide benefits and favors to individuals, and corporatism to serve larger groups of people.

Questions to consider:

  • In what ways are Mexican voices heard politically?
  • How does the patron-client system affect voter behavior in Mexico?
  • In what ways has Mexican political participation been characterized by revolution and protest?

Review Questions


Since 1990s, Mexican national elections have become more competitive.

For most of the 20th century, the government of Mexico was characterized by one-party rule.

Rapid economic growth in Mexico over the past three decades has led to the issue of a growing gap between
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the rich and the poor.


Anti-clerics claim the Church has too much political power, favors the rich, and keeps Mexico backward.


The Third World is economically dependent on the capital, products, and policies of the First World.  This is known as the

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Dependency Theory