While a party card is of course no guarantee of success, [the] lack of it is a guarantee that you will not have a career of any kind.
What actually holds the present regime together is not a set of uncoordinated policies that pleases all sectors and paralyzes the government, but rather a system of mobility that attracts the personal allegiance of spokesmen for all the PRI sectors from the bottom to the top of the party hierarchy.
A growing body of research finds that dictatorships with a single or a dominant political party represent an especially resilient form of authoritarian rule. In a seminal paper, Geddes (1999a) classified dictatorships into personalist, military, single-party, and their hybrids and showed that single-party dictatorships are less likely to break down and democratize than the remaining categories. Research on an institutionally related category of dictatorship – dominant or hegemonic party regimes – similarly concludes that these regimes are particularly robust, even in the face of economic crises and popular opposition (Slater 2003; Smith 2005; Magaloni 2006; Brownlee 2007a). In a complementary line of research, Gandhi and Przeworski (2007) report that leaders in single-party regimes survive longer in office, and Chapter 4 shows that leadership in dictatorships with parties is less likely to be deposed by noninstitutional means, such as coups and popular uprisings. Even when single- and dominant-party dictatorships democratize, former party elites frequently shape the transition process and, in many cases, continue to maintain economic and political influence (Grzymała-Busse 2002, 2007).
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