Tragic Brilliance: Equilibrium Party Hegemony in Mexico
41 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2008
Date Written: April 2003
Why do citizens acquiesce in regimes of which they obviously disapprove? We provide a model that exhibits a general mechanism underlying the survival of one-party dominant, authoritarian regimes. The "tragic brilliance" of one-party dominant systems is that the party employs a complex system of rewards and punishments that lead citizens to actively support the party. We study the long-standing hegemonic dominance in Mexican politics by the PRI. We model the PRI's credible threat to punish localities electing the opposition. We also explore our model's implications for the Mexican transition to democracy. Our empirical evidence at the municipal level supports the model. Our conclusions relate to the comparative literature on one party systems, elections, democratization and the political economy of Mexico.
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