Democracy and Elections

This section includes analysis on midterm and presidential elections, Mexico’s democratic challenges, Enrique Peña Nieto’s cabinet, among other topics.

Issues in this Series

The Second Democratic Transition in Mexico: Efforts, obstacles and challenges to Mexico in the quest for a comprehensive, coordinated, consistent form of accountability

Mauricio Merino Huerta
During the last decade, Mexico has implemented a comprehensive set of institutional reforms to combat discretion, inefficiency and corruption. After the successful efforts beginning in the last decades to build a new electoral system that allowed a peaceful transition from a single party regime to a pluralist democracy, the public agenda began focusing on challenging the traditional way to exercise authority gained in the polls. This text is a brief summary of the set of changes and challenges Mexico has faced during this period as well as of the vigorous debate on how to build complete, articulate, and coherent accountability in the country.

As President Obama Heads to Mexico, Americans Have Mixed Views of Neighbor Across the Border

President Obama will visit Mexico on May 2, where he is expected to discuss ways to deepen US-Mexico economic relations and reinforce cultural and commercial ties between the two countries. While still plagued by issues related to organized crime, today Mexico has one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and it is the United States’ second largest trading partner and third largest source of oil.

U.S. Ambassadors to Mexico: The Relationship Through Their Eyes

Dolia Estévez
What emerges in this publication is a nuanced portrait of the individuals who have been tasked with serving as the key link of the U.S. government with Mexico. Dolia Estévez's effort to bring their memories and their perspectives to light helps illuminate a little known part of the political relationship between the two countries. It also chronicles a changing relationship between these countries from "distant neighbors" to "intimate strangers," who are deeply dependent on one another and yet are only still getting to know one another well enough to manage the relationship.

Peña Nieto’s Cabinet: What Does It Tell Us About Mexican Leadership?

Roderic Ai Camp
An analysis of cabinet leadership in Mexico has always provided insights into political recruitment trends for the policy-making leadership in general. This essay briefly analyzes the backgrounds of the twenty-two cabinet secretaries and important cabinet-level agencies, and the president, and compares them with equivalent leadership, where appropriate, from three prior presidential periods. Those consist of the cabinet members from the pre-democratic era, 1935-1988, from the democratic transition, 1988-2000, and from the democratic era, 2000-2013.

Sharing Space with our Hemispheric Partners

Pamela Starr
The final report of the Latino Leadership Task Force is a call to action for Washington to prioritize partners and markets in the Western Hemisphere, and to engage the Latino community as partners in the effort. The report urges Washington to enact hemispheric policy that better reflects changing demographics in the United States and the growing influence of the U.S. Latino community, which drives desperately needed job creation and growth in the United States.

Mexico’s 2012 Elections: Key Issues and Critical Questions Now and Beyond

Eric L. Olson
In this report the Wilson Center's Eric L. Olson analyzes the upcoming Mexican election, specifically the candidate's foreign policy positions and what may change should the PRI win the election.

More than Neighbors

Andrew Selee and Christopher Wilson
An overview of Mexico's Politics, Economy, and Society and an assessment of key issues in U.S.-Mexico Relations with particular focus on economic integration, security cooperation, migration, and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexico's Democratic Challenges: Politics, Government, and Society

Andrew Selee and Jacqueline Peschard
Only a decade ago, Mexico saw the end of seventy years of single-party hegemonic rule and the first free and fair election in its history. How has the country evolved since then, and what is the status of its democracy today? In this comprehensive new collection intended for use in undergraduate courses a group of distinguished scholars examines recent political developments in Mexico—including its 2006 election and the breakdown in consensus that nearly resulted—in order to assess the progress of its democratization. Focusing on transformations in Mexico's evolving political party system, institutions in transition, and the changing nature of state-society relations, contributors to this book discuss the challenges that Mexican democracy faces today as well as the potential it has for further change in the near future.

The United States and Mexico: Towards a Strategic Partnership

At a time when the United States is undergoing a change in administration, the Woodrow Wilson Center felt it was important to conduct a thorough review of the relationship between the two countries and address possible strategies for cooperation between them in the future.

The Peace Process in Colombia with the ELN: The Role of Mexico

Cynthia J. Arnson
The Mexican facilitator in the ELN peace talks, Ambassador Andrés Valencia, spoke at an off-the-record session on June 21, 2005. This document constitutes Ambassador Valencia's account of the attempt to arrange a meeting between ELN military leaders and the Mexican facilitating team, an attempt that ended in failure.

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