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Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know (What Everyone Needs to Know)by Roderic Ai Camp
Synopses & Reviews
Today all would agree that Mexico and the United States have never been closer--that the fates of the two republics are inextricably intertwined. It has become an intimate part of life in almost every community in the United States, through immigration, imported produce, business ties, or illegal drugs. It is less a neighbor than a sibling; no matter what our differences, it is intricately a part of our existence.
In this outstanding contribution to Oxford's acclaimed series, What Everyone Needs to Know®, Roderic Ai Camp gives readers the most essential information about our sister republic to the south. Camp organizes chapters around major themes--security and violence, economic development, foreign relations, the colonial heritage, and more. He asks questions that take us beyond the headlines: Why does Mexico have so much drug violence? What was the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement? How democratic is Mexico? Who were Benito Juárez and Pancho Villa? What is the PRI (the Institutional Revolutionary Party)? The answers are sometimes surprising. Despite ratification of NAFTA, for example, Mexico has fallen behind Brazil and Chile in economic growth and rates of poverty. Camp explains that lack of labor flexibility, along with low levels of transparency and high levels of corruption, make Mexico less competitive than some other Latin American countries. The drug trade, of course, enhances corruption and feeds on poverty; approximately 450,000 Mexicans now work in this sector. But Camp reveals that President Calderón's recent assault on narcotics smugglers--and the violence resulting from it--may have actually lessened the government's control of parts of the country and national institutions.
Brisk, clear, and informed, Mexico: What Everyone Needs To Know® offers a valuable primer for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of our neighbor to the South.
What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
From devastating violence and drug cartels to immigration issues, an ailing economy, and environmental problems, there is no shortage of news stories or debates over current affairs in Mexico. The number of people living in extreme poverty in the country is reportedly increasing, while the drug violence has become a major international security issue. And while the nation has been undergoing a democratic consolidation since 2000, its tumultuous political history continues to cast a long shadow on the present situation.
In Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know, Roderic Ai Camp will take readers through the myriad issues confronting Mexico domestically and internationally. Informed and contextualized by Camp's deep knowledge of Mexican political and cultural history, the book will address Mexican security and violence, economic and political development, its foreign relations with the United States, social development, and current cultural concerns.
About the Author
Roderic Ai Camp is Philip M. McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont McKenna College.
Table of Contents
Political Map of Mexico
List of Tables
Part I: Major Issues Facing Mexico Today
Chapter 1: Security and Violence in Mexico
--Why Does Mexico Have so Much Drug Violence Today?
--Has Mexico Always Had a Drug Problem?
-- Which Areas of Mexico are most Affected by Drug Violence, Who Are the Primary Targets, and Does the Violence Spill Across the Border?
--How are Mexico's Security Problems America's Problems?
--What is the Origin of the Drug Cartels and which Organizations are the Major Cartels?
--What Role has Mexico Played in the U.S. Northern Command?
--What do Mexicans Consider to be the Most Important Issues Facing the Country?
--Does Mexico Exercise Political Sovereignty Throughout the Republic?
Chapter 2: Mexico's Economic Development
--How Poor is Mexico?
--How is Mexico Addressing its Poverty?
--What is the Economic Relationship between Mexico and the United States?
--What was the impact of NAFTA on Mexico?
--What is the State of Mexico's Economy Today?
--What Kind of Economic Model Does Mexico Follow?
--What Does the Mexican Economic Model Teach Us About Development?
--Why is Mexico City so Polluted and Can These Conditions be Altered?
--How Has Mexico Addressed Domestic and Cross-Border Environmental Issues?
Chapter 3: Mexico's Political Development
--When Did Mexico Become Democratic?
--How Democratic is Mexico?
--Why Did Mexico Make The Democratic Transition So Slowly?
--What Can Mexico Teach Us About Civil Military Relations?
--Why Has Mexico Been so Stable since the 1930s?
--What is the Impact of the United States on Mexico's Political Development and Democratization?
Chapter 4: Foreign Relations with the United States
--What is the Impact of Geography on Mexico?
--What has Happened with Immigration to the United States?
--Could the US/Mexico Water Commission Serve as an Institutional Model for Other Issues with the United States?
--What Can the United States do to Help Mexico?
--How Has Mexico Influenced the United States Economically?
Chapter 5: Mexico's Social Development
--How Unequal is Mexican Development and What are the Social Consequences?
--What is the Current Status of Indigenous Mexicans?
--What are Mexican Attitudes Toward Global Environmental Issues?
Part II: Historical Legacies
Chapter 6: Mexico's Colonial Heritage
--How Did the Spanish Viceroys Shape Mexico's Political Heritage in the 19th and 20th Centuries?
--What was the Relationship Between Church and State in Mexico and Why Was it so Different from that of the United States?
-- What Consequences did the Colonial Relationship between Church and State have for the 19th and 20th Centuries?
--What is the Most Important Heritage of Spain's Economic System in Mexico?
--How Were Social Class Relations Determined by Colonial Experiences?
Chapter 7: The National Period and the Rise of Liberal/Conservative Conflicts
--What are the Long Term Consequences of Liberal-Conservative Conflicts in Mexico?
--Who Started the Mexican-American War and How Did it Affect Relations with the United States?
--Who is Benito Juárez?
--What is the War of the Reform?
--Why Was the Constitution of 1857 so Important?
--Who is Porfirio Díaz and What is the Porfiriato?
--What Were the Long-term Consequences of the Porfiriato for the 20th Century?
Chapter 8: The Mexican Revolution and a New Political Model for Mexico
The Mexican Revolution
--What Were the Causes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910?
--Who is Francisco I. Madero?
--Who Really is Pancho Villa?
--Who Benefited Most From the Mexican Revolution?
--Could Mexico Have Achieved Changes in its Structures Through Peaceful Means Instead of Violence?
--How Did the Revolution Alter Political Institutions and Civil Military Relations?
--What Was the Attitude of the United States Toward the Revolution?
--What is the Constitution of 1917?
--What was the Cultural Impact of the Mexican Revolution on Painting, Music and Literature?
The Evolution of Modern Political Structures After 1920
--Why Did the Assassination of President-elect Alvaro Obregón Alter Mexico's Political Future?
--What was the influence of Plutarco Elías Calles on the Formation of a Modern Mexican State?
--What is the National Revolutionary Party (PNR)?
--Who is Lázaro Cárdenas and How Did Influence Mexico's Political Model?
--Why Did Mexico Nationalize the Petroleum Industry in 1939?
--Did Mexico Participate in World War II?
--When Did Civilian Leadership Take Control of the Mexican Political System?
--What is the Alemán Generation and What were its Consequences for Mexican Politics?
--What is the PRI?
--What is the Mexican Economic Miracle?
--What is the PAN?
The Decline of the PRI and the Mexican Model
--What is the Tlatelolco Student Massacre in 1968 and What are its Long-term Political Consequences?
--What is the "Dirty War" in Mexico?
--What Was the Impact of the 1964 Electoral Reforms?
--What Were the Leading Political Characteristics of Mexico's Semi-Authoritarian Model?
--What Were the Consequences of the Nationalization of the Banks in 1982?
--Did Mexico's Economic Woes in the 1980s Have Significant Political Consequences?
Chapter 9 Mexico's Democratic Transition
--How did Carlos Salinas Alter the Mexican Political Model?
--Why is the Presidential Election of 1988 a Benchmark for Democracy in Mexico?
--Who is Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and What is the PRD?
--How Did Salinas Change Mexico's Economic Model and what is NAFTA?
--Who Are the Technocrats?
--When Did an Opposition Party Win its First Governorship in Mexico?
-- What was the Zapatista Uprising of 1994 and What were its political consequences?
--What Were the Consequences of the Zapatistas for Civil-Military Relations?
--Why is the Presidential Election of 1994 Considered a Second Benchmark in the Democratic Transition?
--What Was the Role of the Catholic Church in the 1994 Presidential Race?
--What Were the Consequences of the Assassination of the PRI Presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994?
--How Did President Zedillo Contribute to the Democratic Transition?
--What is the Mexican Bailout?
Part III: Mexico's Present and Future
Chapter 10: Mexico's Democratic Consolidation
Politics of Democracy
--Why was the 2000 Presidential Race Essential to Mexico's Democratization?
--Who is Vicente Fox?
--What is the Transparency Law?
--What is "Amigos de Fox"?
--What Was the Role of the Private Sector in the Democratic Consolidation?
--Who are the Most Important Interest Groups?
--What is the Role of the Media in the Process of Democratic Consolidation?
--What Role Did the United States Play in Mexico's Democratization?
--What Role Did Intellectuals Play in Mexico's Democratization?
--What Impact Has the Environmental Movement Played in Mexico?
--What Happened in the 2006 Presidential Race?
--Why Did Felipe Calderón Win the Election?
--Who is Manuel Andrés López Obrador?
--What is the Federal Electoral Institute?
--What do the Mexican People Think about the Government's War on Drugs?
--What Impact Does the Army's Mission Against Drug Cartels Have on Civil-Military Relations?
--How do Mexicans Define Democracy and How Committed Are They to Democratic Governance?
--What Do Mexicans Expect From Democracy?
Chapter 11: Cultural, Economic and Social Developments
--What are the Mexican Religious Beliefs and Religious Relationships?
--How Are the Drug Wars Influencing Cultural and Religious Behavior?
--What are Mexican Attitudes Toward Gender Roles?
--How Tolerant are Mexicans Toward Minority Groups?
--What is Mexico's Impact on Cultural Trends in the United States?
Chapter 12: What Lies Ahead?
Chronology of Mexican Presidents, 1964-2012
Selected Suggested Readings in English
What Our Readers Are Saying
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