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The Populist Road to Market Reform: Policy and Electoral Coalitions in Mexico and Argentina

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2011

Edward L. Gibson
Northwestern University


Governing parties face two fundamental tasks: they must pursue policies effectively, and they must win elections. Their national coalitions, therefore, generally include two types of constituencies—those that are important for policy-making and those that make it possible to win elections. In effect, governing parties must bring together a policy coalition and an electoral coalition. This distinction sheds light on how the transitional costs of major economic policy shifts can be made sustainable in electoral terms. It also provides a starting point for analysis of how two of Latin America's most important labor-based parties, the Peronist party in Argentina and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) in Mexico, maintained electoral dominance while pursuing free-market reforms that adversely affected key social constituencies. Peronism and the PRI are conceived of as having encompassed historically two distinctive and regionally based subcoalitions: a metropolitan coalition that gave support to the parties' development strategies and a peripheral coalition that carried the burden of generating electoral majorities. This framework permits a reconceptualization of the historic coalitional dynamics of Peronism and the PRI and sheds light on the current process of coalitional change and economic reform.

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Copyright © Trustees of Princeton University 1997

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1 In Latin American studies the “populism” concept has been subject to continuous stretching over the years to include types of movements, policy-making patterns, ideologies, coalitions, styles, or ‘ways of doing politics.’ Some conceptualizations have included all these features. The concept of “populism” in this essay is more restrictive, denoting parties that incorporated labor during the historical and developmental period mentioned above. These characteristics link Peronism and the PRI conceptually to such movements as, Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA) in Peru, Action Democratica in Venezuela, and Varguismo in Brazil. For a less restrictive definition of populism, see Roberts, Kenneth M., “Neoliberalism and the Transformation of Populism in Latin America: The Peruvian Case,” World Politics 48 (October 1995)Google Scholar.

2 See, for example, such works as Collier, Ruth Berins and Collier, David, Shaping the Political Arena: Critical Junctures, the Labor Movement, and Regime Dynamics in Latin America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991)Google Scholar; Conniff, Michael L., ed., Latin American Populism in Comparative Perspective (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982)Google Scholar; Collier, Ruth Berins, The Contradictory Alliance: State-Labor Relations and Regime Change in Mexico (Berkeley: Institute of International and Area Studies, University of California, 1992)Google Scholar; Middlebrook, Kevin, The Paradox of Revolution: Labor, the State, and Authoritarianism in Mexico (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)Google Scholar; Murmis, Miguel and Portantiero, Juan Carlos, Estudios sobre los origenes delperonismo (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, 1971)Google Scholar; Horowitz, Joel, Argentine Unions, the State, and the Rise ofPerdn, 1930–1945 (Berkeley: Institute of International and Area Studies, University of California, 1990)Google Scholar; Torre, Juan Carlos, ed., La formaeion del sindicalismo peronista (Buenos Aires: Editorial Legasa, 1988)Google Scholar; and O'Donnell, Guillermo A., Modernization and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Studies in South American Politics (Berkeley: Institute for International and Area Studies, University of California, 1971)Google Scholar.

3 The role of the PRI in mobilizing peasants, as a pillar of its corporatist structure, has been widely addressed, but analysis has rarely gone beyond its controlled and subservient status within the coalition. The functions of the regional subcoalition, which organized peasant and rural sectors, in the maintenance and internal power struggles of the PRI have been understudied aspects of the party's politics.

4 The term “metropolitan” is thus employed here to mean more than “urban,” although the relationships described in the following pages tend to accentuate levels of urbanization. The term here denotes the most dynamic and economically dominant areas of the country.

5 Murmis and Portantiero (fn. 2).

6 The Junta Renovadora, a conservative faction of the Radical Party dominated by leaders from the “interior” provinces, supported Peron's candidacy. So did the Partido Independiente, a small group of provincial conservative-party leaders. These two electoral groupings and additional coalition building with local caudillos helped, build support in areas beyond the Partido Laborista's geographical reach. See Canton, Dario, Elecciones y partidos politicos en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, 1973)Google Scholar; and Aidar, Sandra J., “Electoral Reform in Argentina and the Revival of the Peronist Party” (Masters thesis, MIT, February 1994)Google Scholar.

7 Systematic case studies of the Peronist party's formation in the interior provinces are unfortunately almost nonexistent. However, a glimpse of processes taking place throughout the country is provided by two studies of the 1946 election in the provinces of Cordoba and Buenos Aires, both of which experienced endorsements of Peron by prominent conservative leaders. Luis Gonzalez Esteves and Ignacio Llorente report a significant transfer of conservative organizational resources and votes to the Peronist ticket. The exceptions were large urban areas, where the working-class constituencies of Peronism were congregated. See Luis Gonzales Esteves, “Las elecciones de 1946 en la provincia de Cordoba,” and Llorente, Ignacio, “Alianzas politicas en el surgimiento del peronismo: El caso de la provincia de Buenos Aires,” in Araujo, Manuel Mora y and Llorente, Ignacio, eds., Elvoto peronista: Ensayos de sociologia electoral argentina (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1980)Google Scholar. A more recent work, both historical and partisan, provides details of local-elite networks that supported the rise of Peronism in the nortwestern province of La Rioja, President Menem's home province. See Quevedo, Hugo Orlando, El Partido Peronista en La Rioja, 3 vols. (Cordoba: Marcos Lerner Editora, 1991)Google Scholar.

8 Manuel Mora y Araujo, “Introduction: La sociologia electoral y la comprension del peronismo,” in Mora y Araujo and Llorente (fn. 7), 49.

9 Alexander, Robert J., The Peron Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951), 141–53Google Scholar.

10 Cited in Murmis and Portantiero (fn. 2), 96.

11 As Mora y Araujo and Smith note, summarizing the literature on the subject, “the conclusion has been categorical: the higher the level of development, the lower the Peronist vote.” Araujo, Manuel Mora y and Smith, Peter, “Peronism and Economic Development: The 1973 Elections,” in Turner, Frederick C., ed., Juan Perdn and the Reshaping of Argentina (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1983), 177Google Scholar. Electoral studies of Peronism that have noted this trend include Ignacio Llorente, “La composition social del movimiento peronista hacia 1954,” in Mora y Araujo and Llorente (fn. 7); Smith, Peter, “The Social Bases of Peronism,” Hispanic American Historical Review 52 (1972)Google Scholar; Shoultz, Lars, The Populist Challenge: Argentine Electoral Behavior in the Postwar Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983)Google Scholar; Araujo, Manuel Mora y, “La estructura social del peronismo: Un analisis interprovincial,” Desarrollo Economico 14 (1975)Google Scholar; Canton, Dario and Jorrat, Jorge R., “Occupation and Vote in Urban Argentina: The March 1973 Presidential Election,” Latin American Research Review 13, no. 1 (1978)Google Scholar; and Masden, Douglas and Snow, Peter G., The Charismatic Bond: Political Behavior in Time of Crisis (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991)Google Scholar.

12 This pattern is detailed in Llorente (fn. 11).

13 In the March 1973 election, the Peronist party consistently received over 60 percent of the vote in rural districts, while failing to get a majority in most urban districts. As Mora y Araujo noted, “It is very clear that if only those districts with urban populations higher than 40 percent had been counted, the Peronist party would not have attained the 50 percent vote total which gave it its victory in the March elections.” Manuel Mora y Araujo, “Las bases estructurales del Peronismo,” in Mora y Araujo and Llorente (fn. 7), 423.

14 Working from a similar database, Manuel Mora y Araujo and Peter Smith provide further support for this argument in a multiple regression analysis of the 1973 elections, in which indicators of social deprivation and underdevelopment have the strongest positive impact on the Peronist vote, while indicators of urbanization register a strong negative impact. See Mora y Araujo and Smith (fn. 11), 177–81.

15 The correlations presented in Table 1 and elsewhere in this essay are ecological correlations; that is, they measure the association between aggregate economic indicators and aggregate electoral results for given geographic units (in this case, Argentine electoral counties, which today number 520). The unit of analysis is not the individual voter, but the geographic unit. The negative associations between such variables as “urban working class” and Peronist party vote should not, therefore, be interpreted as indications of the preferences of working-class individuals, but of Peronist electoral performance in geographic areas where workers live. These tend to be areas of high urbanization and economic development, which also include other social sectors whose electoral preferences may differ dramatically from those of working-class voters. In fact, studies based on survey data or urban-area data sets consistently find strong working-class support for the Peronist party. See, for example, Kirkpatrick, Jeane, Leader and Vanguard in Mass Society: A Study of Peronist Argentina (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1971)Google Scholar; Masden and Snow (fn. 11); Schoultz (fn. 11); Ranis, Peter, Argentine Workers: Peronism and Contemporary Class Consciousness (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)Google Scholar; Smith (fn. 11); and Germani, Gino, “El surgimiento del peronismo: El rol de los obreros y de los migrantes internos,” Desarrol/o Economico 13 (October-December, 1973)Google Scholar.

16 A detailed treatment of the formation of the PNR is provided by Garrido, Luis Javier, El partido de la Revolution institucionalizada: Laformacidn del nuevo Estado en Mexico, 1928–1945 (Mexico City: Siglo XXI Editores, 1986)Google Scholar. For this period see also, Meyer, Jean, Estadoy sociedad con Calles, vol. 11 of Historia de la Revolution Mexicana (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1977)Google Scholar; and Meyer, Lorenzo, Segovia, Rafael, and Lajous, Alejandra, Los inicios de la institucionalizacidn, vol. 12 of Historia de la Revolution Mexicana (Mexico City: El Colegio de Mexico, 1978)Google Scholar; and León, Samuel, “Del partido de partidos al partido de sectores,” in Corona, Carmen, ed., El partido en elpoder: Seis ensayos (Mexico: Partido Revolucionario Institucional-Instituto de Estudios Poli'ticos, Economicos y Sociales [IEPES], 1990)Google Scholar.

17 The terms “caudillos” and “caciques” seem to have slightly different meanings in Argentina and Mexico. In Argentina, “caudillo” denotes a political boss. The Argentine caudillo can be a local boss or a national leader. In Mexico, “cacique” explicitly denotes a local political boss, while “caudillo” generally denotes a civilian or military political leader whose authority is national in scope. In both Mexico and Argentina, caciques and caudillos can draw their political authority from socioeconomic power relations, political institutions, or both. I am indebted to Blanca Heredia, of the Centro de Investigaciones y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), and Fernando Escalante, of the Colegio de México, for these distinctions. For typological and analytical discussions of this issue, see Díaz, Fernando Díaz, Caudillos y Caciques: Santa Anna y Juan Alvarez (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1971)Google Scholar, and Joseph, Gilbert, “Caciquismo and the Revolution: Carrillo Puerto in Yucatán,” in Brading, D. A., ed., Caudillo and Peasant in the Mexican Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980)Google Scholar.

18 As Alan Knight notes, “Through the 1920s and 1930s Mexican elites remained variegated and fractious, especially if the vital provincial, as against national, perspective is adopted. In parts of the south the plantocracy still ruled, albeit under pressure; the northern bourgeoisie prospered (at least until the later 1920's); and the new revolutionary elite—generals, above all, acquired property to match their power. But there were also elites, some of popular extraction, who depended on continued popular support for their advancement.” Knight, “Mexico's Elite Settlement: Conjuncture and Consequences,” in Higley, John and Gunther, Richard, eds., Elites and Democratic Consolidation in Latin America and Southern Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 128Google Scholar.

19 In fact, the territorial deal underlying the PNR was a mechanism for dealing with the threat of class conflict. In exchange for their support, the PNR offered regional elites protection against continued revolutionary change. See Garrido (fn. 16), 127—28.

20 On the internal struggles that drove the Cárdenas reforms, see Cornelius, Wayne, “Nation-building, Participation, and Distribution: The Politics of Social Reform under Cardenas,” in Almond, G. A., Flanagan, S. C., and Mundt, R. J., eds., Crisis, Choice, and Change: Historical Studies in Political Development (Boston: Little, Brown, 1973)Google Scholar. See also Hamilton, Nora, The Limits of State Autonomy: Post- Revolutionary Mexico (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982)Google Scholar.

21 The military was organized into a “sector” as well, but this sector was dissolved shortly thereafter. The reorganization of the PRM and party-constituency relations is analyzed in Middlebrook (fn. 2), and in Ruth Berins Collier (fn. 2). Detail on the dynamics of the Cárdenas presidency is provided by González, Luis in Los artifices del cardenismo, vol. 14 of Historia de la Revolución Mexicana (Mexico City: El Colegio de Mexico, 1979)Google Scholar, and Los dt'as delpresidente Cardenas, vol. 15 of Historia de la Revolución Mexicana (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1981)Google Scholar.

22 In both cases, of course, the mobilization and control of rural electorates were complemented, when needed, with electoral fraud. For an analysis of rural power dynamics in the postrevolutionary period, see Tobler, Werner, “Peasants and the Shaping of the Revolutionary State, 1910–1940,” in Katz, Friedrich, ed., Riot, Rebellion, and Revolution: Rural Social Conflict in Mexico (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988)Google Scholar. Illustrative local case studies include de la Pena, Guillemo “Populism, Regional Power, and Political Mediation: Southern Jalisco, 1900–1980,” in Van Young, Eric, ed., Mexico's Regions: Comparative History and Development (San Diego: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, 1992)Google Scholar; Romana Falcon, “Charisma, Tradition, and Caciquismo: Revolution in San Luis Potosí,” in Katz (fn. 17); as well as essays in Brading (fn. 17).

23 According to one study, between 1964 and 1976 the PRI averaged over 70 percent of the vote in highly urbanized areas, while its averages in rural areas exceeded 90 percent of the vote. Gomez, Leopoldo, “Elections, Legitimacy, and Political Change in Mexico, 1977—1988” (Ph.D. diss., Georgetown University, 1991), 242Google Scholar.

24 Klesner, Joseph L., “Realignment or Dealignment? Consequences of Economic Crisis and Restructuring for the Mexican Party System,” in Cook, Maria Lorena, Middlebrook, Kevin J., and Horcasitas, Juan Molinar, eds., The Politics of Economic Restructuring: State-Society Relations and Regime Change in Mexico (San Diego: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, 1994), 164Google Scholar.

25 A multiple regression analysis carried out by Joseph Klesner from the same database in the abovecited study confirms the tendencies shown in Tables 2 and 3, particularly with regard to the impact of industrialization, urbanization, and education on the PRI vote. See Klessner (fn. 24), 170.

26 Although exploring the issue further is beyond the scope of this essay, it might be suggested that this successful institutional fusion of metropolitan and peripheral coalitions is one factor that distinguishes Peronism and the PRI from Varguismo in Brazil and might account for the greater endurance and cohesion of the former two cases.

27 For studies on Mexico's changing social and occupational structure, see Navarrete, Emma Liliana and Bolaños, Marta G. Vera, eds., Población Sociedad (Toluca., Mexico: El Colegio Mexiquense, 1994)Google Scholar; García, Brigida, Desarrollo económico y absorción defueriLa de trabajo en México, 1950–1980 (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1988)Google Scholar; and Rangel, Gloria Vazquez and Lopez, Jesus Ramirez, Marginacion y pobreza en Mexico (Mexico City: Editorial Ariel, 1995)Google Scholar. For Argentina, see Torrado, Susana, Estructura social de la Argentina, 1945–1983 (Buenos Aires: Ediciones de la Flor, 1992)Google Scholar; Nun, José, “Cambios en la estructura social de la Argentina,” in Nun, José and Portantiero, Juan Carlos, eds., Ensayos sobre la transición democrdtica en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Puntosur, 1987)Google Scholar; Palomino, Hector, Cambios ocupacionalesy sociales en la Argentina, 1947—1985 (Buenos Aires: CISEA, 1987)Google Scholar; and Minujin, Alberto, et al. , eds. Cuesta abajo: Los nuevos pobres: Efectos de la crisis en la sociedad argentina (Buenos Aires: Editorial Losada, 1992)Google Scholar.

28 Studies on Mexico analyzing the effect of social and demographic change on party vote include Horcasitas, Juan Molinar, El tiempo de la legitimidad (Mexico City: Cal y Arena, 1992)Google Scholar; Klesner, Joseph, “Modernization, Economic Crisis, and Electoral Alignment in Mexico,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 9 (Summer 1993)Google Scholar; and Gómez (fn. 23). I deal with the impact of social and demographic change on Argentine electoral politics during the 1980s and 1990s in Gibson, Edward L., Class and Conservative Parties: Argentina in Comparative Perspective (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)Google Scholar.

29 See Klesner (fn. 24); Molinar Horcasitas (fn. 28); and Mizrahi, Yemile, “A New Conservative Opposition in Mexico: The Politics of Entrepreneurs in Chihuahua (1983–1992)” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1994)Google Scholar.

30 One measure of this tendency is the proportion of votes received by Peronism from the country's less developed provinces, calculated here as all provinces and districts excluding Buenos Aires province, the Federal District, Cordoba, Santa Fe, and Mendoza. After 1973 this proportion declined. Since 1946 the poorest provinces provided the following proportion of Peronism's total votes: 1946, 23 percent; 1951, 30 percent; 1973, 37 percent; 1983, 27 percent; 1989, 28 percent; 1995, 27 percent. Percentages for 1946–73 were taken from Mora y Araujo (fn. 13). Percentages for 1983–95 were calculated from official election results.

31 In one key urban district, the city of Buenos Aires, the 1983 election results constituted a sharp acceleration of a declining trend of support for the Peronist party. The following election totals for the party detail this trend: 1946 presidential elections, 53 percent; 1954 congressional elections, 54 percent; 1973 presidential elections, 37 percent; 1983 presidential elections, 27 percent. Esteves, Luis Gonzales and Llorente, Ignacio, “Elecciones y preferential politicas en Capital Federal y Gran Buenos Aires: El 30 de Octubre de 1983,” in Botana, Natalio et al. , eds., La Argentina Electoral (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1985)Google Scholar.

32 On the “modernization” of sectors of the Mexican labor movement and its role in President Salinas's coalition-building strategies, see Bizberg, Ilan, “Restructuracion productiva y transformacion del modelo de relaciones industriales: 1988–1994,” Foro International, no. 143–144 (January—June, 1996)Google Scholar. The different strategies of adaptation by sectors of the Argentine labor movement to President Menem's reform policies are analyzed by Murillo, Maria Victoria in “Organizational Autonomy and the Marketization of Corporatism,” in Chalmers, Douglas et al. , eds., The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America: Rethinking Participation and Representation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)Google Scholar.

33 During his presidential campaign, Peronist candidate Carlos Menem was somewhat discrete about his overtures toward business. His discretion, however, was not shared by candidate Salinas during his own presidential campaign. Salinas openly courted big business during the campaign, reportedly meeting with the largest entrepreneurs in every state he visited. See Carlos Elizondo, “Privatizing the PRI? Shifts in the Business-PRI Relationship” (Manuscript, C1DE, Mexico City, March 1994).

34 Heredia, Blanca, “State-Business Relations in Contemporary Mexico,” in Serrano, Monica and Bulmer-Thomas, Victor, eds., Rebuilding the State: Mexico after Salinas (London: The Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, 1996)Google Scholar.

35 As Carlos Acuña notes, “Immediately upon taking office, the new minister of economy reached agreements with 350 leading firms to stabilize prices in exchange for maintaining stable public-sector prices and tariffs, as well as interest and exchange rates. These agreements bypassed entrepreneurial representatives.” Acuña, “Politics and Economics in the Argentina of the Nineties (Or, Why the Future No Longer Is What It Used to Be),” in Smith, William C., Acuña, Carlos H., and Gamarra, Eduardo, eds., Democracy, Markets, and Structural Reform in Latin America (Miami: University of Miami, North-South Center, 1994), 39.Google Scholar

36 In Mexico it is estimated that the privatization of parastatal enterprises fostered the creation of at least fifty big economic grupos. See Mizrahi, Yemile, “Recasting Business-Government Relations in Mexico: The Emergence of Panista Entrepreneurs,” Working Paper, no. 29 (CIDE, Division de Estudios Politicos, 1995)Google Scholar. For a journalistic analysis of the consolidation of economic conglomerates in Argentina during the Menem period, see Majul, Luis, Los dueños de la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1992)Google Scholar.

37 For a discussion of the uses of market reform for constituency formation and political coalition building, see Schamis, Hector, “Re-forming the State: The Politics of Privatization in Chile and Great Britain” (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1994)Google Scholar.

38 Weak as this commitment might have seemed in Mexico, especially after the conservative turn of government policy after the Cardenas period, government policies did nevertheless ensure that real wages for labor rose steadily for labor from the 1950s to the late 1970s. See Garza, Esthela Gutierrez, “De la relacion salarial monopolista a la flexibilidad del trabajo, Mexico 1960–1986,” in Garza, Esthela Gutierrez, ed., La crisis delestado del bienestar, vol. 2 of Testimonios de la crisis (Mexico City: Siglo XXI Editores, 1988), 146–54Google Scholar. In the 1980s, however, this objective changed. Average wages in manufactuing plummeted 38 percent between 1982 and 1985 and continued their downward trend after that. The urban minimum wage fell nearly 46 percent during President De la Madrid's sexenio. Ruth Berins Collier (fn. 2), 105.

39 For a discussion of the institutional changes in state labor relations made by the Salinas administration in Mexico, see Enrique de la Garza Toledo, “The Restructuring of State-Labor Relations in Mexico,” in Cook, Middlebrook, and Molinar Horcasitas (fn. 25). McGuire, James analyzes Menem's labor reforms in Argentina in Peronism without Perón: Unions, Parties, and Democracy in Argentina (Stanford: Stanford University Press, forthcoming, 1997), chap. 8Google Scholar.

40 In Mexico this also led to the formation of a new union grouping of the “modern” sectors of the labor movement, the Federacion de Sindicatos de Rmpresas de Bienes y Servicios (Fesebes) that took a prominent role supporting government-led reforms. See Bizberg (fn. 32).

41 The most notorious incident was the president's “request” at a gala dinner for business leaders for $25 million in campaign contributions from the participants for the PRI. See Meyer, Lorenzo, “El PRI se abre a la inversion privada: Autentica elite de poder,” Excelsior, March 4, 1993Google Scholar. See also Golden, Tim, “Mexican Leader Asks Executives to Give Party $25 Million Each,” New York Times, March 9, 1993, p. 1Google Scholar.

42 Salvador Mikel, national PRI deputy for the state of Veracruz, interview by author, Mexico City, February 4, 1995.

43 Pizarro, Fernando Ortega, “Los empresarios, poderoza fuerza en el PRI, aunque no sean sector,” Proceso 800, March 2, 1992, p. 21Google Scholar.

44 The Células Empresariales were established by collaborators in Luis Donaldo Colosio's campaign. After his assassination, they formed part of Ernesto Zedillo's campaign. Details on the strategy behind the organization of the Células Empresariales are provided by Antonio Arguelles, one of the chief PRI organizers of the Células, in “Las células empresariales en la campaña de Ernesto Zedillo,” in Arguelles, Antonio and Villa, Manuel, eds., México: El voto for la democracia (Mexico City: Grupo Editorial Miguel Angel Porrua, 1994)Google Scholar. The political organizers of the Células maintain that these were organized strictly for mobilizing political support and establishing communication between local entrepreneurs and the party's presidential candidate, not to mobilize financial support; Luis Antonio Arguelles and Marco Antonio Bernal, interviews with the author, Mexico City, February 4 and 5, 1995. However, Roberto Campa, a top party leader in Mexico City, affirmed that these were also important devices for raising funds from the local business community; Roberto Campa, interview with author, Mexico City, June 8, 1995. Journalist Andrés Oppenheimer also describes the importance of the células for PRI fundraising in Bordering on Chaos: Guerrillas, Stockbrokers, Politicians, and Mexico's Road to Prosperity (Boston: Little, Brown, 1996)Google Scholar.

45 This new emphasis away from sectoral organization was asserted officially by party leaders at the landmark XIVth National Assembly of the PRI in September 1990. For an analysis of the results of the XlVth assembly, see Bailey, John, Dresser, Denise, and Gómez, Leopoldo, “XIV Asamblea del PRI: Balance Preliminar,” La Jornada, September 26, 1990Google Scholar.

46 Campa (fn. 44). An edited volume devoted entirely to this subject is Transforming State-Society Relations in Mexico: The National Solidarity Strategy, ed. Cornelius, W., Craig, A., and Fox, J. (San Diego: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, 1992)Google Scholar. In their article in this volume, “Electoral Determinants and Consequences of National Solidarity,” Juan Molinar Horcasitas and Jeffrey Weldon show a strong electoral bias to PRONASOL expenditures and a marked impact on electoral outcomes in key electoral districts. For a recent study questioning the electoral impact of PRONASOL, see Bruhn, Kathleen, “Social Spending and Political Support: The ‘Lessons’ of the National Solidarity Program in Mexico,” Comparative Politics 28 (January 1996)Google Scholar.

47 As Paul Haber notes, PRONASOL was instrumental in eroding organizational and electoral gains by the PRD in Durango and other electoral districts. Haber, “Political Change in Durango: The Role of National Solidarity,” in Cornelius, Craig, and Fox (fn. 46).

48 Federico Estevez, Institute Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico. Electoral data from research in progress.

49 Klesner, Joseph, “The 1994 Mexican Elections: Manifestation of a Divided Society?” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 11 (Winter 1995)Google Scholar. In this study Klesner also shows that, even with the PRl's urban advances, the peripheral and rural electoral bias displayed statistically in Tables 2 and 3 was maintained in 1994.

50 Exit polls conducted by Mitofsky International, Inc. indicated that the PRI received 45 percent of the “wealthy” vote and 49 percent of the “high income” vote, compared to 44 percent and 33 percent respectively for the conservative PAN. However, at the bottom of the social ladder the PRI obtained 54 percent of the “below poverty level” vote as opposed to 25 percent for the PAN. Similarly, the exit polls indicated that the PRI captured 41 percent of voters with university education, compared to 36 percent for the PAN. For poll results, see New York Times, August 24, 1994, p. A4Google Scholar.

51 See Gibson (fn. 28).

52 Peronist party leaders usually played second fiddle to labor leaders and corporatist organization figures in the Peronist movement. See Sidicaro, Ricardo, “¿Es posible la democracia en Argentina?” in Rouquie, Alain, ed., Argentina Hoy (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, 1985)Google Scholar; and McGuire (fn. 39).

53 One of these leaders, was Eduardo Duhalde, governor of the province of Buenos Aires. Formerly the mayor of the greater Buenos Aires municipality of Lomas de Zamora, he became Menem's vicepresidential running mate in 1989 and later won election as governor of Buenos Aires. In the 1995 presidential election, the Duhalde party machine in Buenos Aires was credited with orchestrating President Menem's electoral victories in the greater Buenos Aires region, bucking a general trend of urban electoral losses.

54 The Peronist party's presidential percentage vote total in the twenty poorest provinces was 54 percent in 1995. In the four most economically advanced provinces it was 47 percent. In the country's four largest cities, the city of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, and Mendoza, the party's average vote percentage was 38 percent.

56 For an analysis of the regional bargain involved in the New Deal, as well as of other effects of regionalism on U.S. national politics, see Bensel, Robert F., Sectionalism in American Political Development: 1880–1980 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984)Google Scholar.

57 For an analysis of the Sri Lankan case, which adopts the analytical framework presented in this essay, see Moore, Mick, “Leading the Left to the Right: Populist Coalitions and Economic Reform,” World Development 25 (July 1997)Google Scholar.

58 In its institutional and political consequences, this might be seen as a historical sequel to Collier and Collier's portrayal of labor politics as a coalitional “fulcrum” in twentieth-century Latin American politics. Collier and Collier (fn. 2), 40.

59 The economic crisis unleashed by the December 1994 devaluation in Mexico certainly increases the possibilities that the PAN will erode privileged strata support for the PRI.

60 In Argentina this trend can be expected to accelerate as a result of the 1994 reform of the national constitution. Under the old constitution the provinces of the interior of the country were overrepresented in national elections because of the regional apportionment of votes in the national electoral college. With the abolition of the electoral college, the peripheral coalition's electoral weight in presidential elections will more closely reflect its actual population size.

61 Gibson, Edward L. and Calvo, Ernesto, “Electoral Coalitions and Market Reforms: Evidence from Argentina” (Manuscript, Northwestern University, December 1996)Google Scholar.

62 The Menem economic team's “Second Reform of the State,” announced in late 1995, envisages a major fiscal reform for the country's provincial governments.

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