The causes, consequences and dynamics of political corruption in Mexico.
AuthorMorris, Stephen David.
AdvisorWilliams, Edward J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDespite the pervasiveness of political corruption in Mexico, the topic has received little scholarly attention. Two objectives guide the current study: to contribute to the comparative literature on political corruption, and to incorporate corruption into an analysis of Mexican politics broadly conceived. Prompted by a host of problems with prior approaches to the study of corruption, the theoretical framework highlights the separation of the normative and behavioral dimensions of the central concept, ties corruption to a three-part model of the state and identifies bribery and extortion as two primary types of corruption. A state-society theory of corruption is presented that underscores the relative balance of state and social forces to offer routes of social mobility as the major determinant of political corruption. The direction of the imbalance between state and society determines, in turn, the bribery or extortion type of corruption dominating the system. Applying this framework, attention centers on the causes, consequences and dynamics of political corruption in Mexico. As to cause, it is argued that the overwhelming power of the Mexican state and the relative weakness of social organizations create the incentives for widespread extortion. Analysis focuses on factors internal to the state, the linkages between state and society and general aspects of society. Data on corruption are used to examine types of corruption, bureaucratic location and denouncing parties. In terms of the consequences of corruption, analysis underscores its contribution to political stability by integrating the political elite, cushioning the impact of policy, displacing political accountability and serving as a symbolic device to mobilize society. Although corruption has fostered widespread distrust of the government and governmental officials among the public, it is portrayed and seen as a non-systemic problem and hence does not erode diffuse system support. A survey of public opinion confirms high levels of distrust and shows such factors as socio-economic status and political involvement to be weak yet significant determinants of opinions towards corruption. Examination of the dynamics of corruption center on the short-term impact of the Mexican sexenio (six year political term) on the incidence and intensity of corruption and anti-corruption campaigns. Also, analysis focuses on the "crisis of corruption" characterizing Mexico in the decade of the eighties.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science