Argument: How far can economic liberalisation create democratic progression

Supporting Evidence and Articles

  • The economic competition from NAFTA has helped to till the soil in Mexico for a more open and competitive political system. It is no coincidence that a few short years after the enactment of NAFTA, Mexicans were able to end seven decades of one-party rule by electing opposition candidate Vicente Fox as their president. NAFTA has also encouraged higher regulatory standards in Mexico and more cross-border cooperation on sensitive environmental issues. 1
  • The Political Impact of NAFTA paper: Without assuming that democracy is necessarily the outcome of economic liberalization, this study has provided economic reasons for the different political arrangements that occurred in Mexico between 1988 and 2000. Economic integration and market reforms under Zedillo triggered an ongoing process of political liberalization.
  • The 1994 political shocks in the wake of Mexico’s entry to NAFTA forced the administration to remove the old authoritarian legacies of the Salinas era. Economic reform of the 1980-90s culminated in the 2000 election of Mexico’s first non-PRI president for more than seven decades, Vicente Fox of the PAN, a development that seemed to signal the full emergence of a Mexican democracy.
  • The economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s created, over time, opportunities for the development of a democratic polity that were inconceivable in Mexico only a few years before.