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Politics of civil-military relations in Mexico: A historical and institutional approach.

Lopez-Gonzalez, Jesus Alberto (2009) Politics of civil-military relations in Mexico: A historical and institutional approach. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Since the late 19th Century, the military in Mexico has been an important instrument of the executive branch of government to maintain political stability. In the 1880s, President Porfirio Diaz created the basis of a system of civil-military relations based on Presidential control (as opposed to civilian control). Since then, the Mexican armed forces have developed a unique bond with the President, remaining accountable and exclusively subordinated to this branch of power and no one else. Despite the Mexican Revolution in the first quarter of the 20th Century and the subsequent process of democratization after 1988, Diaz's basic principle has not been broken. In fact, the military's separation from the political arena after the Mexican Revolution inexorably strengthened its moral capital, gaining the population's approval to participate in areas that surpass its conventional duties. This has made the executive branch become increasingly reliant on the armed forces to make certain policy commitments seem trustworthy, especially in areas where civilian agencies have consistently underperformed, such as the combat of organised crime and ordinary policing. This is definitely a unique characteristic within Latin America, where democratization has rarely been accompanied by an increasing role of the armed forces on internal affairs. By using deductive reasoning and historical narrative, the argument will propose that the rules governing the system of civil-military relations in Mexico are counterintuitive with the idea of democratic consolidation. It will also suggest that the current system of civilian control has become even more vulnerable due to the capacity of the military to resist and even reverse civilian initiatives to improve supervision over their expanding roles. To test these hypotheses, the argument follows closely the military's counterinsurgency policy and its increasing participation in law enforcement institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Military Studies, Latin American Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Government

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