Edited by Alan Knight & Wil Pansters . Published 2005. ISBN 9781900039666
Caciquismo – roughly, ‘boss politics’ – has played a major role in Mexican political and social life; and caciques of diverse character – political syndical agrarian ‘red’ right-wing and white-collar – have exercised great power within Mexico’s distinctive political system. Indeed the peculiarities of that system have depended on this kind of informal politics which combines repression clientelism and charismatic authority. As such caciquismo fits uncomfortably within the formal analysis of laws parties and elections and though its demise has often been predicted it has survived evolved and adjusted to Mexico’s rapid post-revolutionary transformation. Embodying the research of historians political scientists sociologists and anthropologists this book reevaluates the crucial role of the cacique in modern Mexico combining both case studies and more general comparison and theory; it suggests that thanks to its Protean character caciquismo has survived decades of change and upheaval and remains an important if underestimated feature of recent Mexican politics.