George W. Grayson
Published January 30, 1990
Reference - 338 Pages
ISBN 9780887388095 - CAT# Y353442
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Second only to the Soviet Union, Mexico is the country most important to the security and well-being of the United States. Its stability is therefore a major concern. As Prospects for Democracy in Mexico documents, there are problems. This ancient Aztec nation now suffers the worst economic conditions since its revolution exploded in 1910. The economy has been as flat as a tortilla since the oil boom fizzled in the early 1980s, and the purchasing power of workers has declined 50 percent in recent years. Open and disguised unemployment afflicts nearly half of the 26-million-member workforce. External debt keeps upward pressure on interest rates, while the government and private sector must meet $12 billion annually in foreign-debt payments. Widespread pollution continues to contaminate the already fetid air of metropolitan areas such as Mexico City.
Similar conditions in the United States or Western Europe would ignite demonstrations, catalyze strikes, and launch the careers of demagogic politicians. Mexico remains remarkably quiet-with discontent channeled though legitimate institutions such as the Congress, mass media, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). This volume dissects the current situation and forecasts future developments. Diplomats, scholars, public officials, and businessmen contribute sixteen chapters and answer a number of the most critical questions.
It is unlikely that this collection will be surpassed for comprehensive coverage and intellectual balance for years to come. It is supported by in-depth statistical tables covering every phase of Mexican life: from unemployment, religious affiliation, inflation rates, presidential electoral results, military expenditures, and the size of the armed forces. In addition, the volume concludes with a selected biography that Latin Americanists, political scientists, and policy-makers will find essential.
George W. Grayson is the Class of 1938 Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. His books include The Mexican Labor Machine: Power, Politics, and Patronage (1989); Oil and Mexican Foreign Policy (1988); The United States and Mexico; Patterns of Influence (1984); and The Politics of Mexican Oil (1980)