The Mexican Standoff: Taught to Protest, Learning to Lose

Issue Date January 2007
Volume 18
Issue 1
Page Numbers 73-87
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Mexico’s election management system enjoys wide international recognition, and yet seemed unable to stand the test of the razor-thin presidential election in 2006. Using the Mexico 2006 Panel Study, we find that neither credibility in the electoral institutions nor perceptions of the cleanness of elections were strong determinants of political protest. Rather, a combination of long-term trends and short-term effects brought about the demonstrations. From this perspective, Mexico’s postelection mass protest seems less fundamental than apparent, and also less spontaneous. To the extent that the basic issue of improved economic opportunity remains unsolved, it may still be potentially destabilizing in the future.

About the Authors

Luis Estrada

Luis Estrada is a lecturer on voting behavior and political methodology at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).

View all work by Luis Estrada

Alejandro Poiré

Alejandro Poiré is Antonio Madero–Fundación México Visiting Scholar and a visiting professor of political science at Harvard University. He has published widely on Mexican political parties, elections, and public opinion.

View all work by Alejandro Poiré