Political Recruitment across Two Centuries

[ Latin American Studies ]

Political Recruitment across Two Centuries

Mexico, 1884-1991

By Roderic Ai Camp



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6 x 9 | 303 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-71173-0

During more than twenty years of field research, Roderic Ai Camp built a monumental database of biographical information on more than 3,000 leading national figures in Mexico. In this major contribution to Mexican political history, he draws on that database to present a definitive account of the paths to power Mexican political leaders pursued during the period 1884 to 1992.

Camp’s research clarifies the patterns of political recruitment in Mexico, showing the consequences of choosing one group over another. It calls into question numerous traditional assumptions, including that upward political mobility was a cause of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

Comparing Mexican practices with those in several East Asian countries also allows Camp to question many of the tenets of political recruitment theory. His book will be of interest to students not only of Mexican politics but also of history, comparative politics, political leadership, and Third World development.

List of Tables

1. Recruitment and Modernization: A Mexican Model
Arguments for Examining Political Recruitment
The Mexican Approach: A Brief Aside
The Theoretical Constructs

2. Age as a Variable in Political Recruitment
Factors Contributing to Age Cohorts in Mexico
Presidential Political Generations

3. Experience and Leadership: The Role of Combat
The Role of Nineteenth-Century Violence
The Role of the Mexican Revolution

4. Education and Politics: Formation and Recruitment of National Leaders
The Institutionalization of Education
Centralizing Education and Enhancing the Recruitment Function

5. Experience and Leadership: The Influence of Careers
The Interlocking Structures—A Power Elite in Mexico?
The Military
Business Leaders as Politicians
The Public Sector and the Professions

6. Gender, Place, and Family in Leadership Credentials
The Role of Gender
The Influence of Place
Socioeconomic Origins

7. The Opposition: An Alternative Path to Leadership?
Special Qualities of Opposition Leadership
Opposition Socioeconomic Origins

8. The Branches of Government: Who Recruits Whom
Background Variables
Career Choices
Educational Influences

9. Salinas in Power: A Case Study of Recruitment in Practice
Presidential Mentoring
The Political Technocrat

Bibliographic Essay

Roderic Ai Camp is McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont McKenna College.

“Camp’s new book is yet another in his outstanding series of studies of political leadership in Mexico. . . . He provides the reader with a clear picture of the ways in which the Mexican political elite has been and continues to be created and to recreate itself. . . . It will be required reading for the specialist but also usable in the classroom and of great interest for the general reader.”

American Historical Review