Dictablanda: Politics, Work, and Culture in Mexico, 1938–1968

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In 1910 Mexicans rebelled against an imperfect dictatorship; after 1940 they ended up with what some called the perfect dictatorship. A single party ruled Mexico for over seventy years, holding elections and talking about revolution while overseeing one of the world's most inequitable economies. The contributors to this groundbreaking collection revise earlier interpretations, arguing that state power was not based exclusively on hegemony, corporatism, or violence. Force was real, but it was also exercised by the ruled. It went hand-in-hand with consent, produced by resource regulation, political pragmatism, local autonomies and a popular veto. The result was a dictablanda: a soft authoritarian regime.

This deliberately heterodox volume brings together social historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists to offer a radical new understanding of the emergence and persistence of the modern Mexican state. It also proposes bold, multidisciplinary approaches to critical problems in contemporary politics. With its blend of contested elections, authoritarianism, and resistance, Mexico foreshadowed the hybrid regimes that have spread across much of the globe. Dictablanda suggests how they may endure.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherDuke University Press Books
Number of pages464
ISBN (Print)9780822356318
StatePublished - 2014


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