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The Integration of Mexico into NAFTA: Neoliberal Restructuring and the Crisis of the Party/State System

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Abstract:

The incorporation of Mexico into NAFTA is considered a determining reference between two ways of understanding the economic structures and political models of the State. The identification between State and single party, and a certain idea of protectionism, sustained by the premise “industrialization sustituting imports” (ISI) went into crisis beginning with the neoliberal reforms introduced by President Miguel de la Madrid and was continued throughout the mandate of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a consequence of the 1982 crisis which brought about the unilateral suspension of debt services, inflation,a strong devaluation of the peso and the nationalization of the bank.The globalization of the world economy, along with Mexico’s adoption of the neoliberal economic model, makes the maintenance of a state system based on economic keynesianism of a populist and authoritarian type, impossible. The authors of this article ask why Mexico, in spite of its long tradition of authoritarianism, corruption and repression has been able to integrate itself into the North American Free Trade Agreement and analyse the future perspectives that this incorporation holds not only for Mexico but also for the United States and for other Latin American countries who see in this initiative a shift from the traditional areas of Latinamerican economic integration and place them on the waiting list for possible adhesion.

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