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Colloques | 2017
Session 5 - Economía y política pública de las derechas
Julián Castro-Rea

From Revolutionary Nationalism to Orthodox Neoliberalism : How Nafta Contributed to Push Mexico into the Right-Wing Stranglehold

[02/10/2017]

Résumés

A century ago, Mexico experienced a revolution blending liberal institutions with quasi-socialist principles. However, this country is today one of the bastions of neoliberalism and the political right in the world. How was this radical change possible?
I will argue that this change resulted from a process that started in the 1940s, when a group of critics of the regime established a direct connection with the Austrian School of neo-classic economics. This connection resulted in the creation of a series of institutions that would promote neoliberalism as an alternative to the predominant revolutionary nationalist paradigm.
A defining moment in this process was the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s. NAFTA launched a process of massive ideological realignment; creating a new landscape in Mexico that brought the country closer to right-wing ideologies. NAFTA’s architect was Carlos Salinas, president of Mexico (1988-1994), who refashioned Mexico’s public administration to cater to the neoliberal project.
This article offers evidence of this process, building both from historical record and empirical research. I will show that the roots of Mexico’s contemporary right-wing ideologies are old, a combination of bottom up and top down activism, and eventually structural; and are kept alive by persistent activism.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

Yo me dedico a la batalla de las ideas

Carlos Salinas de Gortari

TV interview in Dominican Republic, February 1, 2016.

  • 1 This article was enriched with comments and suggestions from the discussant and other participants (...)

1At the turn of the 20th century, Mexico experienced a social revolution that established a regime blending classic liberal republican institutions with quasi-socialist principles.1 Indeed, collective land ownership, a strong protection of workers’ rights, state-led economic growth and public education (even constitutionally “socialist” for a while) were among the pillars sustaining the new regime.

2Less than one century later, however, this country is one of the bastions of neoliberalism and the political right in the Americas and the world. How was this radical change even possible?

3In this article, I argue that this change was the product of a protracted process that started more than seventy years ago; when a group of critics of the post-revolutionary regime economic policies established a direct connection with outstanding members of the Austrian School of orthodox economics. This connection resulted in the creation of a series of institutions that would carry the torch of neoliberalism against the predominant revolutionary nationalist paradigm; increasingly acquiring influence and legitimacy.

  • 2 For example, Stephen Clarkson, who thinks of NAFTA as North America’s “supranational constitution”  (...)

4A defining moment in this process was the government’s decision to liberalize trade and investment with the United States and Canada in the early 1990s. Indeed, the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) meant not only that Mexico’s economy would be from then on latched onto its North American partners, but it also launched a process of massive ideological realignment in the country. These top-down, systemic pressures did much more than “locking in” a specific brand of public policies, as other authors2 have argued; they indeed created a new ideological landscape in Mexico, bringing the country closer to ideologies predominant in the United States.

5From then on, neoliberalism became the gold standard for good governance, regardless of the specific party at the helm of government, and Mexico’s foreign policy refocused on relations with North America, thus neglecting historical connections with Latin America. These approaches were reinforced by a new ideological environment favourable to the right-wing in politics, the media, academia and middle-class public opinion.

6NAFTA’s architect was Carlos Salinas, president of Mexico from December 1988 to November 1994. He refashioned the country’s public administration to better implement the neoliberal program, leaving a lasting legacy on subsequent governments that further solidified the prevailing right-wing tendencies.

7This article offers evidence of the process described above, building both from historical record and empirical research. I show that the roots of Mexico’s contemporary right-wing ideologies are decades old, a combination of bottom up and top down activism, and eventually structural. Besides, these roots are watered on a regular basis by federal governments led by different parties, and civil society activism committed to the spread of neoliberalism.

Some Important Definitions: Neoliberalism, Neo-classic Economics, Political Right

8Before engaging into the empirical contents of this paper, some theoretical considerations are in order. What is neoliberalism? Is it more than an economics theory? More importantly, can neoliberalism be considered a right-wing ideology?

  • 3 Escalante Gonzalbo, Fernando, Historia mínima del neoliberalismo, Mexico City, El Colegio de México (...)

9The term “neoliberalism” was born in specific historical circumstances.3 In August 1938, a group of European intellectuals met in Paris to discuss the French translation of Walter Lippmann’s book The Good Society. In attendance were people who would leave their mark in the global development of ideas, like Lippman himself, Raymond Aron, Alexander Rüstow, Friedrich Von Hayek and Ludwig Von Mises. They gave themselves the task of rethinking liberalism to adapt it to the new global conditions.

  • 4 Van Horn, Rob and Philip Mirowski, “The Rise of the Chicago School of Economics and the Birth of Ne (...)

10Rüstow proposed the name that the group of intellectuals would embrace to define their new ideas: neoliberalism. By that they meant that the old laissez faire liberalism was no longer enough to defend human freedom. They acknowledged that the liberal order in a society is not spontaneous, but the result of the deliberate actions carried out by the state. Law creates the framework where freedom is possible. This includes markets, which have to be created with state regulations and law enforcement; adapting institutions to the emergence of new conditions. Neo-liberals do not believe that the proverbial invisible hand makes markets appear spontaneously, they have instead to be crafted through regulation that fosters competition.4

11However, the state has to limit itself to defend liberal principles, not give orders; leaving instead society and the market to make their own decisions. So here’s one of the paradoxes of this ideology: it believes that the state has the duty to create the market, but once this is done the state has to refrain from interfering with market mechanisms.

12Also, in contrast with classic liberalism, neoliberals give priority to economic over political freedom. For them, freedom is not an abstract concept applying to all human activities, it means exclusively the capacity for realization of individual wants and desires. Away from natural freedom, neo-liberal freedom is then the ability of the individual to do as she pleases in economic activities, thus maximizing her profits and consumption. The market becomes the realm where this freedom is achieved, where competition really thrives. From this perspective, the market is actually a better reflection of people’s will than elections. In fact, neoliberals distrust democracy, as it may become a tool to empower the state, and encourage public officials to tamper with the market.

13Another departure of neoliberalism relative to classic liberalism is its perception about the nature of corporations. From its logic, corporations are just like individuals: they react rationally to the economic and political environment to maximize the enjoyment of their freedom. Therefore, they must be treated as human beings, endowed with the same rights and freedoms protected under the law. Another paradox of neoliberal thought becomes apparent: it ignores the corporations’ significant economic and political power, and their ability to distort not only competition in the marketplace but democracy itself.

14Economists prefer to call this approach “neo-classical”, because it is heavily inspired on the basic tenets of the classic school of economics, represented by 19th century theorists such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo. It is “neo” because classic liberal economics was rewritten in the mid-20th century, heavily borrowing from neoliberal tenets.

15Of course, neo-classical economists think of their theory as scientific, as a simple reflection of what is, devoid of ideological or political bias. They sustain this pretended objectivity with the heavy use of quantitative methodologies that, in their minds, discards values and bias.

16However, this economic theory is much more than that; to the extent that it is based on assumptions that are not always found in reality and that it is prescriptive (i. e. it provides recipes) for public policy; basically aimed at fashioning an existing situation to the ideal expectations of neoliberalism. Neo-classical economics is an ideology, parading as science, and has provided a useful varnish of scientific neutrality to the neoliberal program. John Maynard Keynes famous statement comes to mind:

  • 5 Keynes, John Maynard, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, London, Macmillan, 1973 (...)

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist”.5

17However, is neoliberalism also a right wing ideology? In order to answer this question, we need to first define what is the political right.

  • 6 Peters, Guy, Comparative Politics. Theory and Method, New York City, New York University Press, 199 (...)

18Historical approaches rightfully insist on the fact that expressions of the political right vary enormously in time and space. What is to be considered right wing, they stress, depends on the country and the historical period when the analysis is made; so it is safer to speak of this ideology in the plural: political rights. However, while this approach is valid for the detailed study of discrete right-wing cases, circumscribed by space and time, it is clearly not adequate for the purposes of developing theory. Comparisons are necessary to build theory, to allow social scientists make statements about processes and structures beyond single cases of study or small groups of them.6

19Comparative politics requires concepts that, while precisely defined, are broad enough to be applicable to as many empirical cases as possible. Of course, definition of these concepts implies a compromise between specificity and generality, between detailed description and identification of common features. In other words, comparative politics requires concepts that simultaneously describe the essence of a political phenomenon while at the same time “travel well” across time and space. Otherwise, comparisons are impossible, as changing meanings of the driving concept open the gate to endless relativism, and each case study remains trapped in its uniqueness. Researchers would then be limited to describe single cases, rather than explain the common features of right-wing movements in different political and historical contexts, and the sources of those commonalities.

  • 7 Alain Noël and Jean-Philippe Thérien, Left and Right in Global Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge Unive (...)

20If, for comparative purposes, we wish to avoid the trap of relativism – that is, we know what is right only in reference to something else – we need to come up with a comprehensive definition. Alain Noël and Jean-Philippe Thérien build on D. D. Raphael’s distinction of common contrasting ideas of distributive justice: one that stresses merit and deservingness, another insisting on equal worth and needs.7 This is the basic distinction between the right and the left: even if both ideological syndromes declare their support to the idea of equality, whereas the right understands the term as the opportunity given to each individual to prove her value and reap the benefits of her salience, the left sees equality as the substantive result of social interaction, to which every human being has the right to enjoy.

21This way, a right-wing individual aiming for equality will insist that the institutions provide an even playing field where people can compete, and display their abilities (intelligence, hard work, scholarly background, etc.) to achieve success. The resulting differences will only be natural, rewarding some people over the rest for their achievements. A left-wing person, in contrast, perceives society as mired with structural obstacles for fair competition to ever occur, therefore she will only see equality where there is an attempt at evening out the end results.

22Of course, from this basic differentiation results a drastic contrast in the perception of the role that the state is called to play. For right-wing individuals, the state has to simply create the conditions for fair competition to occur: maintain order and stability, enforce law, protect private property, etc. For the left, in contrast, the state has to play an active role in creating the mechanisms that will ensure substantive equality for all, such as redistributive programs, progressive taxation, affirmative action, etc. Where the right prefers a small state that taxes people to the minimum and stays at the background of social and market interactions, leftists prefer a muscular state that that gives to itself the tools to shape society and the market along the lines of social justice.

23From this discussion, compatibility between neoliberalism, neo-classical economics and the right becomes apparent. The three ideologies put freedom at the top of their priorities, defined mostly in utilitarian, economic terms. They stress individualism and competition over community and solidarity as the main drivers of social progress. They also believe that inequality is not only natural, but necessary for societies to thrive, to the extent that it reflects people’s individual worth and encourages competition. They also believe that the state has to play a minimal role in ensuring stability and competition, while refraining from dictating positive, mandatory solutions to social problems. The three ideologies, then, go hand in hand; providing ideas to cover all the institutional ideological field spanning from academia to public policy and party politics.

Origins: The Austrian School in Mexico

  • 8 Mirowski, Philip and Dieter Plehwe, eds., The Road from Mont Pèlerin. The Making of the Neoliberal (...)

24Mexico’s political right is one of the few in the world that can brag about having a direct connection with the very creators of global neoliberalism. Indeed, since the early 1940s two prominent members of the Austrian School of economic thought, Ludwig Von Mises and Friedrich Von Hayek, visited Mexico and left a lasting imprint on academia and business organizations. As it is well known and documented, Mises and Hayek would later be among the founding members of the Mont Pèlerin Society (MPS) in April 1947, the thought collective that is universally acknowledged as the seed of global neoliberal doctrine.8

  • 9 Romero Sotelo, María Eugenia, “The Origins of Economic Orthodoxy in Mexico” in Perrotta, Cosimo and (...)
  • 10 Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 125.

25Mises visited Mexico for the first time in January and February 1942, invited by Mexican economist Luis Montes de Oca.9 Montes de Oca had occupied important positions in Mexico’s federal government: Auditor General in 1924, Secretary of Finance from 1927 to 1932, and director of the Bank of Mexico from 1935 until his retirement from public administration in 1940. The following year, he participated with other investors in the foundation of a private bank, Banco Internacional. He was known as a staunch opponent of state intervention in economic matters, especially economic planning, and avid reader of both Mises’ and Hayek’s works. It is likely that he introduced the ideas of the Austrian School to Mexico’s economic and political elite circles.10

26Montes de Oca met Mises in New York City in 1941, at which time he invited him to visit Mexico. Mises was asked to deliver a series of lectures. The invitation was also open-ended, offering Mises a permanent position if he considered staying in Mexico to develop his career. He was offered to become head economist for both the Association of Mexican Bankers (ABM is its acronym in Spanish) and the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (CONCANACO, its Spanish acronym), a generous salary, paid staff to assist him, and teaching opportunities at both the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the prestigious graduate school El Colegio de México. The offer could become effective any time, and was valid for three years.

27Mises, however, agreed to the lecture series only. He delivered his talks at the recently created School of Economics at UNAM, at the private law school Escuela Libre de Derecho, and for ABM and CONCANACO members.

28Thanks to this trip, Mises became interested in Mexico’s socio-economic conditions. He wrote a letter to Hayek, fustigating the revolutionary nationalist economic approaches. He also wrote in that letter that a small elite was attempting to create an intellectual movement in Mexico that would counter the predominant economic paradigm, in which Mises and Hayek could play a crucial role.

  • 11 Mises, Ludwig Von, “Ideas sobre la política económica de la posguerra”, Cuadernos Americanos no. 4, (...)
  • 12 Mises, Ludwig Von, Problemas económicos de México. Ayer y hoy, Mexico City, Instituto Cultural Ludw (...)
  • 13 Mises, Problemas económicos…, p. 13. Author’s translation.

29Mises’ intellectual interest in Mexico would go further. Later that year, he penned an article that was published in the recently created journal Cuadernos Americanos.11 The following year, he expanded his ideas in a book-long essay he entitled “Economic Problems in Mexico”. The essay was left unpublished for over half a century, until Mises’ disciple and curator of his library Bettina Bien Greaves discovered the manuscript in April 1997. The essay was translated and published in Spanish the following year.12 In it, Mises develops a critique of the economic policy adopted by the Mexican government, from a neoliberal perspective of course. He wrote: “The only way to improve Mexico’s economic situation is through economic liberalism, that is, a policy of laissez faire… What Mexico needs is economic freedom”.13

30One can only imagine what would have happened if the essay had been published shortly after it was written and made accessible to Mexico’s elites. At the very least, it is quite likely that it would have influenced the debate regarding the economic policy options open to Mexico in those years.

  • 14 Plehwe, Dieter, “The Origins of the Neoliberal Economic Development Discourse” in Mirowski and Pleh (...)

31Mises’ interest in Mexico also had another crucial intellectual repercussion. During the 4th MPS conference held in Beauvallon, France, in 1951, a panel on “Liberalism and the Underdeveloped Countries” was included in the program. The topic, which was quite novel at the time, was personally proposed by Mises; and formally launched the interest in applying neoliberal principles to face the challenges of development among the core founders of the movement.14

  • 15 Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 127.

32Mises’ visit also had institutional consequences. Montes de Oca proposed the creation of an International Institute of Social Sciences, under the direction of Mises himself. Furthermore, he asked him to suggest potential faculty members for the Institute. Mises obliged, suggesting five names of possible candidates and, this time, he accepted the prospect of employment in Mexico for himself. However, the stumbling block for the implementation of this project was the hefthy salaries that Mises suggested for himself and his potential colleagues.15

33The momentum of Mises’ visit resulted nonetheless in another, more lasting institutional development: the creation in 1946 of Asociación Mexicana de Cultura (AMC) and its main achievement: the Instituto Tecnológico de México (ITM). With heavy support from business elites, AMC gave to itself the mandate of promoting all kinds of cultural and educational activities; in particular the creation of a system of higher education campuses. That same year, AMC created ITM, focused in the delivery of an economics program alternative to the one offered at UNAM, and heavily influenced by neoliberal ideas. As one of its founders, banker Aníbal de Iturbide, explained in an interview:

  • 16 Cit. in Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 138.

“…if we were to promote industrial development in Mexico, we would have to try to change the mentality of the people… we decided to found the Instituto Tecnológico de México, with the aim of creating a school of economics to educate the men who would in the future administer the private and public finances of Mexico…”16

34This statement would become almost prophetic. ITM would eventually acquire the ability to define its programs and curriculum without intervention from government educational authorities, thus becoming Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in 1963; although the new denomination would only be officially acknowledged until 1985. Over time, ITAM has become one of Mexico’s most prestigiuos private PhD-granting research universities, expanding its academic offer beyond economics to include business management, maths, law, political science, computer science and engineering. As we will discuss later in this paper, ITAM also played an eminent role in the adoption of neoliberalism as official policy approach among Mexico’s political elites in the 1990s.

35Mises links with Mexico pursued. Even if his permanent position in Mexico did not materialize, he became advisor to business organizations, and supported AMC’s goals and efforts. In 1946, he encouraged Hayek – a prominent disciple of his and future MPS founding member who was at the time working at the London School of Economics – to accept the invitation that AMC extended to him to deliver lectures in Mexico. Hayek’s prestige was then rising, after the publication in 1944 of his most famous work: The Road to Serfdom. He arrived in the country in July that year, and delivered three lectures at UNAM and CONCANACO.

  • 17 Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 153-154.

36Mises joined Hayek some days later, and they travelled together to the cities of Guadalajara and Monterrey, where Mises delivered more talks. In a dinner hosted by Mexico City’s Rotary Club, Mises expressed that the only way that Mexico would accumulate the capital it badly needed was by adopting free trade, to allow for the mobility of capital and goods and the flow of foreign investment. Later on, addressing a gathering of ABM members in Monterrey, Mises stressed the interdependence existing between Mexican and US economies; noting that far from being negative, it was a fact of life that Mexico should take advantage of.17 In so doing, Mises was in fact anticipating the analysis and policies that would bring about the predominance of neoliberalism in Mexico… half a century before they were actually discussed and adopted with NAFTA.

37The imprint that Mexico left on the neoliberal core thought collective was again felt in September 1958, when the MPS held its international annual meeting in Mexico. Among many other MPS members, Mises and Hayek were in attendance. As expected, presentations in the conference, one after the other, lambasted the country’s economic policy, calling for a change of approach guided by neoliberal principles.

  • 18 This is the view expressed by expert on the study of neoliberalism María Eugenia Romero Sotelo, int (...)

38The seed planted early in Mexico by the Austrian School and its supporters would take some time to mature. For decades it seemed forgotten, insignificant, almost irrelevant for public debate. But its proponents were patiently working, thinking long term for the achievement of their goals;18 as I will discuss in what follows

Relay: The Other Bolivarian Revolution

39The surge of interest in neoliberalism among Mexico’s business elites was prompted by Mexico’s peculiar circumstances in the 1940s. From 1934 to 1940, the country had experienced the most radical period of revolutionary nationalist policies; under president Lázaro Cárdenas. Believing that state action was the only possible engine for socioeconomic development, management and redistribution, Cárdenas adopted and implemented a “Six Year Plan”, heavily influenced by Soviet five year programs. The plan included massive expropriation of agricultural land to turn it over to the peasants, who were encouraged to work these collective lands called ejidos. Public education was centralized, adopting a class perspective, protected in the Constitution as “socialist education”. Unions and the labour movement were strongly supported, the state standing by their side in their dealings with employers. As a corollary, in 1938 Cárdenas’ government decreed the expropriation of the foreign-owned oil industry, planting the seed of what would become the largest public corporation in the country: Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX).

  • 19 The revolutionary party was known as Partido Nacional Revolucionario (PNR) from its creation in 192 (...)

40All these radical measures scared business and liberal-leaning circles in society. A right-of-centre political party was created in 1939: Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), as an electoral alternative to the party that resulted from the triumphant revolution.19

41However, interest in neoliberalism waned once business elites realized that the radical Cárdenas policies would not return. Second World War would also provide an opportunity for Mexico to engage in import-substitution industrialization, that is, in the domestic production of manufacturing goods that were formerly purchased abroad. Besides, from president Miguel Alemán (1946-1952) onwards, Mexico’s governments adopted a more pragmatic stance towards business, alloying revolutionary rhetoric with largely pro-business policies.

42Moreover, there was no universal consensus within business circles to reject revolutionary nationalism. Indeed, some business sectors were actually benefitting from the very policies rejected by neoliberalism. Manufacturing received tariff protection from external competition, agricultural production for the domestic market received generous subsidies, construction obtained abundant public contracts to build infrastructure. It is not by accident that those business sectors were enthusiastic about the revolutionary nationalist economic model, while in contrast sectors that were more connected and dependent from foreign markets – banking and commerce in particular – were precisely the ones that supported adoption of neoliberal ideas and their propagation in Mexico.

43The bid of revolutionary nationalist economic policies was successful from the post-war era until the late 1960s, thus giving rise and credence to the expression coined to describe the country’s economic performance: “Mexican miracle”. Of course, economic success gave legitimacy to the economic policies in place.

44However, for a variety of reasons that cannot be discussed here, the prevailing development model imploded through the 1970s, and utterly collapsed in 1982 with a financial crisis provoked by the dramatic fall of oil prices. Faced with massive capital flight, the Mexican government reacted in panic mode, and decreed the expropriation of the country’s banking system.

45This single policy decision has been identified as a major trigger of right-wing political activism against the federal government. Activism took the form of the creation of more assertive business organizations such as Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE), and the emergence of a neoliberal grassroots movement symbolized by the creation of Instituto Cultural Ludwig Von Mises A. C. (ICUMI).

  • 20 Interview with Carolina R. de Bolívar, Mexico City, May 12, 2016.

46ICUMI was Carolina R. de Bolívar’s brainchild. Alarmed by government actions in 1982, Ms. Bolívar decided to create an organization to spread out the ideas of the Austrian School, which she grew fond of through her training at Universidad Anáhuac (a Mexican private university).20 She was advised and supported by Anthony Fisher, founder of the London-based, neoliberal Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Rather modest at its origins, ICUMI would eventually become a major hub linking advocates of neoliberalism, Mexican and foreign, with civil society and government officials.

47This way, over the years ICUMI was able to bridge the most prestigious names in the neoliberal tradition with Mexican media, civil society, business and government leadership. In the pages of the up to that point obscure magazine Imagen Industrial, Ms. Bolívar was able to commit contributions form the biggest names in the global neoliberal network, such as Milton Friedman and James M. Buchanan. With financial support from Liberty Fund – a libertarian foundation based in Indianapolis, US –, ICUMI organized discussion fora featuring foreign guests from the neoliberal network. The Institute offered to high-ranking public officials the opportunity to meet privately with these outstanding guests; an opportunity that many officials, including presidents, did not refuse.

48On the educational front, ICUMI organized essay contests as a way to identify young neoliberal talents. The theme of the first such contest was the work of US libertarian icon Ayn Rand. Through this strategy, ICUMI was able to recruit and train young people with potential to carry forward the neoliberal torch; for example, Josefina Vázquez Mota, who years later, in 2012, would become presidential candidate for then incumbent right-wing party PAN.

49The Institute also made massive acquisitions of neoliberal books in Spain, such as the translation of Mises’ Human Action and Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty, to distribute even for free to university libraries. Future Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo was, according to Ms. Bolívar, an avid reader of this literature. Also, as previously mentioned, the Institute published in 1998, right after its discovery, the translated critique of Mexico´s economic policy penned by Mises himself.

  • 21 Interview with Bolívar.

50ICUMI was able to create what Ms. Bolívar describes as a “coattail effect”: the Institute prestige rode on the coattails of the big names they invited, and was able to pique the interest of mainstream media by making “trendy” the discussion of neoliberal themes.21

51On balance, Ms. Bolívar believes that ICUMI achieved three of its original goals: facilitate re-privatization of the banking system, trade liberalization, and lowering taxation. It is open to debate whether the Institute can actually be credited for these changes in public policy, or if they were rather the result of broader right-wing activism against the government’s economic policy. In particular, Mexican big business had all but declared war against the government, openly expressing disagreement over management of the economy in the main private media oulets, aggressively directing their organizations – CCE in particular – to confront new governmental attempts to reinforce economic nationalist policies, encouraging the emergence of a combative wing within PAN, the flagship party of the right. This new wing, called neopanismo, would present a more solid opposition to PRI in state and local elections. No longer content with simply playing the electoral game, neopanistas were determined to win and denounce manipulations of the process, whenever they were carried out by the official party in complicity with governments at all levels.

52The determinant element for the triumph of neoliberalism, however, seems to have been the emergence of a new breed of public officials already comitted to it: the so-called technocrats.

Culmination: Technocracy Seizes Power

  • 22 MacLeod, Dag, Downsizing the State : Privatization and the Limits of Neoliberal Reform in Mexico, U (...)

53Given the acute economic emergency Mexico went through in 1982, when a new president was sworn in December that year he opted for important changes in economic policy. Beginning in 1983, under the helm of president Miguel de la Madrid, the Mexican government started implementing one of the most extensive programs of market-oriented reforms in the developing world.22 Market reforms included an austerity program, drastically reducing public spending, and privatization of several public companies. In 1984, after decades of snubbing the global trade regime, Mexico finally joins GATT.

  • 23 Babb, Sarah, Proyecto : México. Los economistas del nacionalismo al neoliberalismo, Mexico City, Fo (...)

54A common explanation for these reforms, usually found in the literature, is that the government was forced to change course under the pressure of powerful external actors. It is true that given the massive public debt the government had to accept stark conditions from international financial institutions to have its payment restructured. But this pressure does not explain the depth and persistence of the neoliberal program in Mexico, long after the emergency situation disappeared and when no pressure from the international financial institutions was exerted. A more accurate explanation will look at the convergence of the decades-long business elite and grassroots activity described above with the changes in leadership within the country’s ruling elite.23

55While neoliberalism started influencing public policy in Mexico in the early 1980s, it did so in earnest by the end of the decade. After over forty years of existence at the margins of political power, neoliberalism was finally able to have a major influence over Mexico’s federal government and dictate its major policies. The takeover was possible not so much because neoliberalism or their political supporters defeated the political elites, but because one member of these elites turned his coat on the revolutionary nationalist regime that brought him to power.

  • 24 Tavira, Alberto, Los Salinas. Retratos de los cachorros del poder, Mexico City, Planeta Mexicana, 2 (...)

56Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Mexico’s president from 1988 to 1994, was that person. He became president after a bitterly contested electoral showdown; which casts a serious shadow of doubt over his victory. He is a member of the political elite that promoted revolutionary nationalism. Son of then senator Raúl Salinas Lozano, his father had also been Secretary of Industry and Trade, and ambassador to the Soviet Union; and lifetime PRI loyalist.24

  • 25 Carolina R. de Bolívar, founder of neoliberal ICUMI, thinks highly of Salinas : “He did understand” (...)

57Carlos Salinas also was trained as economist at Harvard University. From the summit of political power in Mexico, taking advantage of the extraordinary powers afforded to Mexican presidents at the time, Salinas thus proposed a new paradigm to face the country’s economic challenges, a paradigm that was heavily influenced by neoliberal tenets.25

  • 26 Cypher, James and Raúl Delgado Wise, Mexico’s Economic Dilemma : The Developmental Failure of Neoli (...)
  • 27 Harvey, A Brief History… ; p. 54 ; MacLeod, Downsizing the State...
  • 28 Rousseau, Isabelle, “Las nuevas élites y su proyecto modernizador” in Servín, Elisa, ed., Del nacio (...)
  • 29 Rodríguez Araujo, Octavio, “The Emergence and Entrenchment of a New Political Regime in Mexico” in (...)

58James Cypher and Raúl Delgado Wise have discussed the central role that orthodox economists trained in the United States have played in the promotion of neoliberalism in Mexico.26 They formed the core of the ascending technocracy within Mexico’s federal government. Salinas spearheaded control of public administration by professionals trained in US research universities, dominated by neoliberal thought.27 From the moment he was appointed Secretary of Planning and Budget in 1982 (SPP is the Spanish acronym of this department), he created a tight team of officials who shared his overview,28 they would together transform Mexico into a country where the neoliberal paradigm reigned supreme. Outstanding members of that team were Jaime Serra Puche, Secretary of Trade and Industrial Development in his government; Pedro Aspe Armella, Secretary of Finance, and Herminio Blanco, chief negotiator for NAFTA. All of these officials had completed graduate studies in economics at US institutions where orthodox approaches prevail: Harvard (Salinas), Yale (Serra), MIT (Aspe), Chicago (Blanco).29 Aspe had in fact also obtained a bachelor's degree in economics from ITAM, before completing a doctorate in economics at MIT.

  • 30 Babb, Sarah, Proyecto : México. Los economistas del nacionalismo al neoliberalismo, Mexico City : F (...)
  • 31 Salas-Porras, Alejandra, “Las élites neoliberales en México : ¿cómo se construye un campo de poder (...)

59In fact, throughout the Salinas’ years, ITAM acquired unprecedented importance as think tank and recruiting centre for government-sponsored neoliberalism. From the 1970s on, the Institute had adopted a curriculum that closely mirrored the main trends of teaching and research in economics preaviling in the United States, at the Univesity of Chicago in particular: neoclassic, theoretical, quantitative; neoliberal in one word. It reflected the expectations of the ascending technocracy, in a way that other traditional schools of economics in Mexico could not, and ITAM graduates started being hired in droves. Besides Aspe, other ITAM graduates were eventually called to play important roles in policy making: Francisco Gil Díaz, Antonio Sánchez Gochicoa, Fernando Sánchez Ugarte, Miguel Mancera Aguayo, Agustín Carstens, Luis Téllez Kuenzler, Jesús Reyes Heroles, Jacques Rogozinski, Santiago Levy Algazi, Jaime Zabludosky, Luis Videgaray Caso, Armando Pérez Gea, Emilio Lozoya Austin, Raúl Livas Elizondo, José Antonio Meade, Enrique Ochoa Reza.30 Indeed, 14 out 22 “key officials” forming the neoliberal elite in Mexico got their inital training in economics at ITAM (and 20 out of those 22 pursued graduate studies in US universities).31 After forty years of existence, then, the neoliberal academic institution would finally reach the goal that its founders had defined: educate the people who would lead the private and public centres of power in Mexico.

  • 32 Castro Rea, Julián, La démocratisation du Mexique. Diagnostic et potentiel, PhD dissertation, Unive (...)
  • 33 The official figures for that election are 50.74 % of the vote for Salinas, 31.06 % for Cárdenas. A (...)

60It would be simplistic to think of Salinas only as a traitor to his party. Of course, he met resistance within the party and even had to cope with open dissidence. As early as August 1986, a group of prominent PRI members started organizing a movement to oppose the first neoliberal reforms promoted by president De la Madrid. The group gave to itself the name Corriente Democrática (Democratic Current, CD), as they were promoting internal democracy for the selection of candidates and the definition of party platform, as a way of bringing the party back to its nationalist roots. Gradually marginalized by the party’s official leadership, the CD chose nonetheless an independent candidate, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, who opposed Salinas’ official candidacy head on in the 1988 elections, accusing him of betraying the principles of the Mexican revolution.32 Cárdenas, supported also by several minor opposition parties, was able to challenge the PRI hegemony as no other candidate had done so before; even claiming that he had actually won that year’s presidential election but suffered from massive electoral fraud.33

  • 34 Rousseau, “Las nuevas élites…”, p. 266.
  • 35 Dresser, Denise, Neopopulist Solutions to Neoliberal Problems : Mexico’s National Solidarity Progra (...)

61However, in the end he managed to prevail, with the support of a substantial majority of leaders and militants within his party. He then played the role of a hinge between revolutionary nationalism and neoliberalism; he even gave a name to his rhetorical and pragmatic synthesis: “social liberalism”.34 He would make efficient use of the revolutionary rhetoric and the corporatist mechanisms put in place by his party to implement a full program of neoliberal reforms in the country. This political leverage became crucial for the reforms’ success, to the point where, paradoxically, neoliberalism woud have had a hard time being established in Mexico without the political mechanisms created by its main ideological opponent, revolutionary nationalism.35

62Neoliberal reforms were vast, comparable to a new revolution sweeping the country. Salinas started with an attack on organized labour, to make sure that union leadership – including from unions affiliated to the PRI – understood that the president was still in charge, regardless of his market-oriented ideological preferences. Reforms also included massive privatization of public corporations and assets, affecting mostly the banking system and telecommunications, mainly the telephone network. The government also opened wide the doors to foreign investment, as Mises had recommended half a century ago, by giving preferential treatment and tax breaks to capitals coming from abroad; and expanded the maquiladora (assembly plants) program, to allow foreign investors to take advantage of Mexico’s low-cost labour.

63Neoliberal reforms also included privatization of ejidos, those iconic land grants promoted by the Cárdenas government sixty years earlier. In 1991, the Salinas government decreed that, from then on, these grants could be divided and sold as private property; something that was forbidden by the revolutionary nationalist legislation. This measure, of course, provided an incentive for the concentration of agricultural lands in the hands of large agribusiness firms.

  • 36 Salas-Porras, Alejandra, “La red de centros de pensamiento en América del Norte : ¿cómo se construy (...)

64The crown jewel of the neoliberal revolution was, no doubt, NAFTA. Concluding a trade liberalization agreement with the United States and Canada became the top priority of the Salinas administration for four full years, from early 1990 to late 1993. The reason is, of course, that such agreement would lock in the major neoliberal reforms operated during the Salinas years, as an open market approach would become a legal commitment for the Mexican state, thereby tying the hands of future governments to the pursuit of the neoliberal agenda. In order to achieve this goal, Salinas also resorted to the tried-and-tested mechanisms of presidential domination at the time: manipulation of legislatures, selection and exclusion of actors involved in the negotiation, manufactured consensus in the media, etc.He also directed his administration to orchestrate a vast public relations campaign to promote NAFTA in the United States, in alliance with a network of conservative think tanks based mostly in that country but also in Mexico.36

65Against all odds, especially because of the vagaries of US politics, NAFTA became a reality on the first day of 1994.

Continuity: Bipartisan Pact and Business Activism

  • 37 See for instance Basualdo, Eduardo and Enrique Arceo, comps., Neoliberalismo y sectores dominantes  (...)

66After Salinas, neoliberalism reigned triumphant over public administration. It did not matter that by then critics were well aware of the consequences of the implementation of the neoliberal agenda over public policy and the country’s more vulnerable population.37 The economic doctrine was well entrenched at the top of political power in Mexico, paradoxically making use of the state control mechanisms that neoliberals theoretically condemned.

  • 38 Castro-Rea, Julián, « Requiem pour l’État révolutionnaire : l’influence de l’ALÉNA sur la réforme d (...)

67Subsequent governments pursued new waves of neoliberal reforms, including labour and fiscal reform. Roads and railways were mostly privatized, as well as the delivery of quality services such as education, healthcare, and social security. The process culminated with privatization of the energy industry in 2013, up to that point reserved to the public sector by revolutionary nationalist legislation; so important for public finances and economic policy that even Salinas defended the state monopoly during NAFTA negotiations.38 Some highlights of the process of neoliberal entrenchment will be offered in what follows.

68Salinas’ successor at the helm of the country was an even stauncher defender of economic orthodoxy. Ernesto Zedillo, president from 1994 to 2000, was a pure-breed technocrat. A Yale University graduate, he had worked at the Bank of Mexico and the SPP. In 1988 Salinas appointed him as head of the Secretariat. In 1992 he became Secretary of Education. The following year he became the PRI’s presidential candidate, after the untimely assassination of the party’s first choice to succeed Salinas.

  • 39 Montalvo Ortega, Enrique, Neoliberalismo : la dictadura (realmente) perfecta, Mexco City : Ariel-IN (...)

69Zedillo decided the creation of Fondo Bancario para la Protección del Ahorro (FOBAPROA). Despite the name, the main goal of this public fund was to rescue and capitalize the recently privatized banks, who were on the brink of collapsing under the financial crisis and had fallen prey to mismanagement and corruption. Over $ 100 billion US dollars of public funds were transferred to the banks; part of this amount was borrowed by the government and, paradoxically, interests for servicing this debt were paid to the same banks who were being rescued.39

70Zedillo also presided over the privatization of Mexico’s railway network, and promoted comprehensive legislation that flexibilized the rules to host foreign direct investment. But perhaps he will be mostly remembered as the last president of the PRI’s seventy-one year-old dinasty, when his party lost the presidential elections to PAN’s candidate, Vicente Fox.

71This way, in 2000 PAN takes over Mexico’s federal government. This transition of course matters as it represented a change of party in charge of government, and as such has been hailed as a triumph of Mexico’s democracy. However, it also represented the continuity of the neoliberal experience, in a more overt way. Ever since PAN was created, it never made a secret of its ideological preference for market approaches to governance, its platform being more compatible with neoliberalism than the PRI’s. PAN could thus pursue the deepening of the country’s neoliberal experience.

72Fox was brought to power by promising change to the PRI’s corrupt, increasingly impopular ways of governing. He was able to capture people’s hopes for change, in a democratic direction. However, once elected he suprised many observers by failing to prosecute even the most blatant abuses of power that the PRI had committed through its long reign. No public official was brought to justice, no specific legal responsibility was laid on any individual for the governance issues that Fox had denounced through his campaign. More suprisingly, some former high ranking officials were called to keep serving under the new president. The most conspicuous examples of that continuity are precisely the core officials involved in economic policy: ITAM graduate Francisco Gil Díaz, appointed Secretary of Finance, and the permanence of Guillermo Ortiz Martínez, Zedillo’s appointee, as head of the Bank of Mexico.

73The same pattern was repeated during the second consecutive PAN government. The party’s candidate Felipe Calderón won the elections by a very narrow margin of 0.58% of the total vote,40 and became president in late 2006.

  • 41 Delgado, Álvaro, El amasiato. El pacto secreto Peña-Calderón y otras traiciones panistas, Mexico Ci (...)

74An investigative report recently published puts forward the hypothesis that Calderón won thanks to an alleged bipartisan pact, that would ensure some PRI’s support to PAN’s candidate for the sake of continuity of the neoliberal project. This way, the two parties excluded alternative economic policy programs; chief among them the one presented by the candidate of the left that came in a close second place, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The pact included that in the following presidential elections, held in 2012, Calderón would support PRI’s candidate, to allow for party alternance while ensuring the supremacy of the bipartisan alliance favourable to neoliberalism.41 PRI’s return to power that year, and the permanence of the neoliberal program, may seem to confirm the accuracy of this interpretation.

75Therefore, predominance of neoliberalism is ensured at the federal government level. It is supported by continued civil society activism, mostly funded by business interests as it was in the 1940s. The network of think tanks that supported NAFTA from its inception keeps active, consistently defending the agreement’s achievement on a regular basis, even when those achievements fall short of the original promises made by its promoters.42 New actors have also joined the fray, such as the global network Caminos de la libertad, led and apparently funded by television magnate Ricardo Salinas Pliego, owner of TV Azteca, the second largest private broadcaster in Mexico.43 Membership to this network includes the most notable neoliberal and right-wing institutions in the Americas, as well as some selected European countries.

Conclusion

  • 44 Salas-Porras, “Las élites neoliberales…”

76Neoliberalism reigns supreme in Mexico today. A project that started as a theoretical, almost philosophical, proposition seventy years ago has become an ideological driving force for public policy in this country. More alarmingly, it has also become the cover for the appropriation of public funds in private hands… private hands that are often the same of public officials that brought in neoliberal reforms, hiding behind other names and/or the respectability of private enterprise.44

  • 45 Salas-Porras, “Las élites neoliberales…, p. 310.
  • 46 Mexico is neither the only country in Latin America “exporting” neoliberal expertise, nor the one w (...)

77Neoliberalism is so well entrenched in Mexico today that the country has made important contributions to the cadres of international financial institutions, bastions of neoliberalism: Ernesto Zedillo (ONU-UNCTAD), Pedro Aspe (North America’s Security and Prosperity Partnership), José Ángel Gurría (OECD, Center for Global Development, Foro Iberoamericano), Guillermo Ortiz (BPI), Jacques Rogozinski (BID), Santiago Levy (BID), Agustín Carstens (IMF, World Bank), Emilio Lozoya (BID, Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones)45 In Mexico, neoliberalism is not only a public policy fad, it has also become an export product.46

  • 47 Bonfil Batalla, Guillermo, México profundo. Una civilización negada, Mexico City, Grijalbo, 1987.

78Neoliberalism is the last iteration of modernization projects attempted in Mexico ever since this country became a European colony five hundred years ago. With no exception, modernization projects have in common that they have ignored the real Mexico, the one Guillermo Bonfil Batalla calls “deep Mexico”.47 Neoliberalism is part of “imaginary Mexico”, inspired from abroad, based on alien cultural assumptions, yet sitting on the side of insitutional political power. Mexico’s history boils down to a permanent clash between modernizers, who wish the country to imitate the Western world, and those who resist this imposition and keep practising Mexico’s ancestral ways.

79Previous modernization projects that have ignored the real Mexico failed. We can thus expect that neoliberalism will eventually collapse, exposing the paradox that brought it to current predominance.

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Notes

1 This article was enriched with comments and suggestions from the discussant and other participants in the conference “Pensar las derechas en América Latina en el siglo XX”. I wish to acknowledge their valuable contribution, and thank them all for their insights. I also thank Carolina R. de Bolívar and María Eugenia Romero Sotelo for having accepted being interviewed, which enormously helped in the development of the ideas herein contained. Of course, any shortcomings are my sole responsibility.

2 For example, Stephen Clarkson, who thinks of NAFTA as North America’s “supranational constitution” ; or Ricardo Grinspun, who sees trade agreements as “conditioning frameworks” for public policy. See Clarkson, Stephen, Uncle Sam and Us : Globalization, Neoconservatism, and the Canadian State‬, Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2002 ; and Grinspun, Ricardo and Yasmine Shamsie, eds., Whose Canada ? : Continental Integration, Fortress North America, and the Corporate Agenda, Montreal : McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

3 Escalante Gonzalbo, Fernando, Historia mínima del neoliberalismo, Mexico City, El Colegio de México/Turner, 2015, p. 28-31.

4 Van Horn, Rob and Philip Mirowski, “The Rise of the Chicago School of Economics and the Birth of Neoliberalism” in Mirowski, P. and Dieter Plehwe, eds., The Road from Mont Pèlerin. The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2009, p. 139-180.

5 Keynes, John Maynard, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, London, Macmillan, 1973 (© 1935).

6 Peters, Guy, Comparative Politics. Theory and Method, New York City, New York University Press, 1998, p. 25.

7 Alain Noël and Jean-Philippe Thérien, Left and Right in Global Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008 ; Raphael, D. D., Concepts of Justice, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 5

8 Mirowski, Philip and Dieter Plehwe, eds., The Road from Mont Pèlerin. The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2009 ; Harvey, David, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 19-20. Other notable MPS founding members include Karl Popper and Milton Friedman.

9 Romero Sotelo, María Eugenia, “The Origins of Economic Orthodoxy in Mexico” in Perrotta, Cosimo and Claudia Sunna, eds., Globalization and Economic Crisis, Lecce, Università del Salento, 2013, p. 124.

10 Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 125.

11 Mises, Ludwig Von, “Ideas sobre la política económica de la posguerra”, Cuadernos Americanos no. 4, July-August 1942, p. 87-99.

12 Mises, Ludwig Von, Problemas económicos de México. Ayer y hoy, Mexico City, Instituto Cultural Ludwig Von Mises, 1998.

13 Mises, Problemas económicos…, p. 13. Author’s translation.

14 Plehwe, Dieter, “The Origins of the Neoliberal Economic Development Discourse” in Mirowski and Plehwe, The Road from Mont Pèlerin…, p. 243-245.

15 Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 127.

16 Cit. in Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 138.

17 Romero Sotelo, “The Origins…”, p. 153-154.

18 This is the view expressed by expert on the study of neoliberalism María Eugenia Romero Sotelo, interviewed in Mexico City, May 19, 2016.

19 The revolutionary party was known as Partido Nacional Revolucionario (PNR) from its creation in 1929 to 1934, Partido de la Revolución Mexicana (PRM) from 1934 to 1946, and from this last year on Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

20 Interview with Carolina R. de Bolívar, Mexico City, May 12, 2016.

21 Interview with Bolívar.

22 MacLeod, Dag, Downsizing the State : Privatization and the Limits of Neoliberal Reform in Mexico, University Park, Pennsylvania University Press, 2004.

23 Babb, Sarah, Proyecto : México. Los economistas del nacionalismo al neoliberalismo, Mexico City, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2003, p. 242-245.

24 Tavira, Alberto, Los Salinas. Retratos de los cachorros del poder, Mexico City, Planeta Mexicana, 2014, p. 8

25 Carolina R. de Bolívar, founder of neoliberal ICUMI, thinks highly of Salinas : “He did understand”, “He thought like us”, and ultimately “He is a great person” (un tipazo). Interview with Bolívar.

26 Cypher, James and Raúl Delgado Wise, Mexico’s Economic Dilemma : The Developmental Failure of Neoliberalism. A Contemporary Case Study of the Globalization Process, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, p. 60-61.

27 Harvey, A Brief History… ; p. 54 ; MacLeod, Downsizing the State...

28 Rousseau, Isabelle, “Las nuevas élites y su proyecto modernizador” in Servín, Elisa, ed., Del nacionalismo al neoliberalismo, 1940-1994, Mexico City : Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2010, p. 253-262.

29 Rodríguez Araujo, Octavio, “The Emergence and Entrenchment of a New Political Regime in Mexico” in Latin American Perspectives, vol. 37, nº 35, 2010, p. 42-43.

30 Babb, Sarah, Proyecto : México. Los economistas del nacionalismo al neoliberalismo, Mexico City : Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2003, p. 193, 234-235.

31 Salas-Porras, Alejandra, “Las élites neoliberales en México : ¿cómo se construye un campo de poder que transforma las prácticas sociales de las élites políticas ?”, Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, year LIX, no. 222, Sep.-Dec. 2014, p. 294,

32 Castro Rea, Julián, La démocratisation du Mexique. Diagnostic et potentiel, PhD dissertation, Université de Montréal, July 1991, p. 127-130.

33 The official figures for that election are 50.74 % of the vote for Salinas, 31.06 % for Cárdenas. According to Cárdenas’ party, he obtained 41 % of the vote, whereas Salinas got only 36 %. Castro Rea, La démocratisation…, p. 168.

34 Rousseau, “Las nuevas élites…”, p. 266.

35 Dresser, Denise, Neopopulist Solutions to Neoliberal Problems : Mexico’s National Solidarity Program, La Jolla : Center for US-Mexican Studies-University of California San Diego, 1991.

36 Salas-Porras, Alejandra, “La red de centros de pensamiento en América del Norte : ¿cómo se construye y sostiene un consenso a favor del TLCAN ?” in Salas-Porras S.. A. and Matilde Luna, eds., ¿Quién gobierna América del Norte ? Élites, redes y organizaciones, Mexico City : UNAM, 2012, p. 113-125.

37 See for instance Basualdo, Eduardo and Enrique Arceo, comps., Neoliberalismo y sectores dominantes : tendencias globales y experiencias nacionales, Buenos Aires : CLACSO, 2006.

38 Castro-Rea, Julián, « Requiem pour l’État révolutionnaire : l’influence de l’ALÉNA sur la réforme du secteur de l’énergie au Mexique», in Brunelle, Dorval, ed., L’ALÉNA à 20 ans : un accord en sursis, un modèle en essor, Montreal, Institut d’études internationales de Montréal-UQÀM, 2014, p. 193-211.

39 Montalvo Ortega, Enrique, Neoliberalismo : la dictadura (realmente) perfecta, Mexco City : Ariel-INAH, 2013, p. 48.

40 Mexico, Instituto Nacional Electoral. [Online] consulted May 27, 2016. URL : http://www.ine.mx/documentos/Estadisticas2006/presidente/gra_nac.html

41 Delgado, Álvaro, El amasiato. El pacto secreto Peña-Calderón y otras traiciones panistas, Mexico City, Proceso, 2016.

42 Salas-Porras, Alejandra, “La red de centros de pensamiento…”, p. 126-146.

43 [Online] Consulted May 27, 2016. URL : http://www.caminosdelalibertad.com

44 Salas-Porras, “Las élites neoliberales…”

45 Salas-Porras, “Las élites neoliberales…, p. 310.

46 Mexico is neither the only country in Latin America “exporting” neoliberal expertise, nor the one who contributes with more personnel to international financial institutions. Other countries make even larger contributions, perhaps Chile being at the top of the list.

47 Bonfil Batalla, Guillermo, México profundo. Una civilización negada, Mexico City, Grijalbo, 1987.

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Julián Castro-Rea, « From Revolutionary Nationalism to Orthodox Neoliberalism : How Nafta Contributed to Push Mexico into the Right-Wing Stranglehold », Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos [En ligne], Colloques, mis en ligne le 02 octobre 2017, consulté le 23 novembre 2017. URL : http://nuevomundo.revues.org/71315

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Auteur

Julián Castro-Rea

Department of Political Science.
University of Alberta, Canada.
jcrea@ualberta.ca

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