State capture in Mexico: Business elites and the Salinas administration (1988-1994)

Date
2013
Authors
Marquez, Alva Denise
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Abstract

During the late 1980s and 1990s, Mexico decided to modernize its economy by implementing a series of privatization initiatives of state-owned enteprises. These initiatives were developed within a weak legal institutional framework and a collusive pattern of business elite relations. Triggering a process of political and policy change where privatization altered the relative power of business elites, empowered corporations as political actors, and changed the nature of business-government relations to a point that private interests "captured the state", a process associated with corruption. I argue that the economic reforms conducted under President Carlos Salinas de Gortari empowered business elites to a point where they could "capture the state" by establishing a privileged relationship, making them the direct beneficiaries of the privatization process, and hindering political and economic democratization. This study is evidenced by cases such as Telmex and Carlos Slim Helu, Televisa and TV Azteca, and the mining industry. Cases that exemplify monopoly conditions as examples of the perpetuation of state capture by business elites.

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Keywords
business elites, Mexico, monopoly conditions, state capture
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Department
Political Science and Geography