Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DEMOCRACY IN MEXICO by Pablo Gonzalez Casanova



Pub Date: May 21st, 1970
Publisher: Oxford

Professor Gonzalez Casanova, Director of the Institute of Social Research at the University of Mexico, clings firmly to empirical data on modern Mexico's social and political system to point up the gap between the theoretical models of government and formal constitutional institutions (products of intellectual colonialism) and on the other hand the actual functioning of the body politic. Concerned with the progress of development (defined broadly as both the increase and the redistribution of the national product) and democracy, Gonzalez Casanova diagnoses the prevailing power structure of Mexico and how it conditions and limits decisions regarding economic development and political democratization. His three-step approach--studying the relationship between the formal political structure and the actual political structure, the relationship between national power and international power, and the relationship between the actual power structure and the social structure--sheds light not only on the real situation of Mexico itself but also upon the problems and prospects of underdeveloped and developing countries in general. After discussing the extent of American influence, the pluralism of Mexican society, and the consequent social and economic stratification and political disconformity, Gonzalez Casanova explores the Marxist prescriptions for Mexico's troubles and those of the liberal political sociologists, concluding that they coincide with his own view: the immediate future of the country depends on effective democratization and development (the conditions for a socialist revolution are not present). An academic examination, blending theoretical analysis and statistical support, this should appeal to Mexican, Latin American, and Third World scholars.