Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Latin America at the Crossroads: Mexico summary

February 21st, 2018

On Friday, February 16, 2018, CIPR hosted the second talk in the spring series “Latin America at the Crossroads.” Dr. Joy Langston (CIDE) talked about her research on political parties in authoritarian regimes. Focusing on the case of Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) in Mexico, Dr. Langston’s research aims to explain why some authoritarian parties survive transitions to democracy while others fragment or disappear altogether. Dr. Langston compared how the PRI fared after they lost control of the presidency in 2000 with other formerly authoritarian parties in countries such as Kenya and Taiwan. She found that, among other reasons, Mexico’s federal system of government – which gives state governors a great deal of political and financial autonomy – allowed the PRI to maintain its much of its influence and power during the 12 years it did not control the presidency. Dr. Langston also offered her thoughts on Mexico’s upcoming presidential elections, cautioning that while left-leaning Andrés Manuel López Obrador is leading in the polls, it is still too early to predict how the campaign will play out.

The next talk in the series will be on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM. Dr. Mónica Pachón of the Universidad del Rosario will be discussing Colombia’s upcoming presidential elections, as well ongoing efforts to implement the country’s peace deal with the FARC.