Regional factors as explanations of political change in Baja California

REGIONAL FACTORS AS EXPLANATIONS OF POLITICAL CHANGE IN BAJA CALIFORNIA

Lawrence A. Herzog

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Resumen

Political geographers have shown increasing interest in explaining the regional dynamics of national political change. This article explores the dimensions of Mexico's political transformation, focusing on the northern border region. The case of Baja California is examined, and five regional elements are identified as significant: urbanization, regional economic development, integration with the United States, the rise of business elites, and the growth of a border middle class.

RESUMEN

Los geógrafos políticos han mostrado un interés creciente en explicar las dinámicas regionales de los cambios políticos nacionales. Este artículo analiza las dimensiones regionales de la transformación política de México, enfocado en la región fronteriza del norte. El caso de Baja California sirve como enfoque, y se identifican como importantes cinco factores: la urbanización, el desarrollo económico regional, la integración con Estados Unidos, el crecimiento de grupos empresariales, y la evolución de una clase media fronteriza.

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Abstract

Political geographers have shown increasing interest in explaining the regional dynamics of national political change. This article explores the dimensions of Mexico's political transformation, focusing on the northern border region. The case of Baja California is examined, and five regional elements are identified as significant: urbanization, regional economic development, integration with the United States, the rise of business elites, and the growth of a border middle class.



RESUMEN

Los geógrafos políticos han mostrado un interés creciente en explicar las dinámicas regionales de los cambios políticos nacionales. Este artículo analiza las dimensiones regionales de la transformación política de México, enfocado en la región fronteriza del norte. El caso de Baja California sirve como enfoque, y se identifican como importantes cinco factores: la urbanización, el desarrollo económico regional, la integración con Estados Unidos, el crecimiento de grupos empresariales, y la evolución de una clase media fronteriza.

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Referencias

The author wishes to acknowledge the helpfull comments of Víctor Castillo of UABC in the early stages of this paper's preparation, as well as editorial suggestions made by reviewers at Frontera Norte.

See Peter J. Taylor and Roland Johnston, Geography of Elections. London, Penguin, 1979.

Roland Johnston, Political, Electoral and Spatial Systems. London, Oxford University Press, 1979.

See, for example, Peter J. Taylor, Political Geography. London, Longman, 1985.

See, for example, Wayne Cornelius, Judith Gentleman and Peter Smith, "Overview: The Dynamics of Political Change in Mexico," in Wayne Cornelius, et al., eds., Mexico's Alternative Political Futures. La Jolla: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD, l989, pp.l-51; or Tonatiuh Guillén López, "La cultura política y la elección presidencial en 1988: hacia un análisis del neocardenismo", Frontera Norte, vol.1, n°1, 1989, pp. 125-150.

These are discussed in Wayne Cornelius, The Political Economy of Mexico Under de la Madrid: The Crisis Deepens, 1985-1986. La Jolla: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD, 1986.

There is a growing literature on the importance of urban popular movements as a political force in Mexico. See, for example, Juan Manuel Ramírez Saiz, El movimiento urbano popular en México, México, Siglo XXI, 1986; Carlos Monsiváis, Entrada libre: crónicas de una sociedad que se organiza, Mexico, ERA, 1987; Daniel Rodríguez Velázquez, "From Neighborhood to Nation," NACLA Report on the Americas, Vol. XXIII, No.4, Nov-Dec 1989, pp. 22-28; Vivienne Bennett and Jeffrey V. Rubin, "How Popular Movements Shape the State: Radical Oppositions in Juchitán and Monterrey, Mexico, 1973-1987"; paper presented at the XIV Latin American Studies Association International Congress, New Orleans, March, 1988.

Wayne Cornelius, Judith Gentleman, and Peter Smith, op. cit., pp. 12-13.

Ibid., p.13.

Peter Smith, "The 1988 Presidential Succession in Historical Perspective", in Wayne Cornelius, et al., eds., Mexico's Alternative Political Futures. La Jolla: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD, 1989, pp. 391-415.

Wayne Cornelius, et al., op. cit., p. 14.

Samuel Schmidt, "Las elecciones en la frontera México-Estados Unidos: Revisando las tendencias", Estudios Fronterizos Nº21, 1991, forthcoming.

Antonio Ugalde, "Regional Political Processes and Mexican Politics on the Border", in Stanley Ross, ed. Views Across the Border. Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 1978, pp. 97-116.

See Kirkpatrick Sale, Power Shift. New York: Vintage Books, 1975; and David Perry and Alfred J. Watkins, eds.. The Rise of the Sunbelt Cities. Beverly Hills, Sage Publications, 1977.

Alberto Aziz Nassif, "Electoral Practices and Democracy in Chihuahua," in Arturo Alvarado, ed., Electoral Patterns and Perspectives in Mexico, 1987, pp. 81-109.

Graciela Guadarrama S., "Entrepreneurs and Politics: Businessmen in Electoral Contests in Sonora and Nuevo León, July, 1985," in Arturo Alvarado, ed.. Electoral Patterns and Perspectives in Mexico, 1987, pp. 81-109.

Aziz Nassif, op. cit.

See Wayne Cornelius and Ann Craig, Politics in Mexico: An Introduction and Overview, La Jolla, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 1988, pp. 30-38.

Alberto Aziz Nassif, "Regional Dimensions of Democratization," in Wayne Cornelius, et al., eds., Mexico's Alternative Political Futures. La Jolla, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD, 1989, p.94.

San Diego Union, "Mexico's PRI Can't Hold Back Democracy," interview with Manuel J. Clouthier. Opinion section. February 12, 1989.

See Tonatiuh Guillén López, "¿Qué pasó en Baja California?" El Nacional (Sección Política), August 17, 1989, pp. 4-9.

Jorge Montaño, "Diagnóstico de largo plazo de la economía de Baja California, 1950-1980" Vol. 3: 4 Cuadernos de Economía, 1987, p. 27.

Aziz Nassif, op. cit, 1987.

Lawrence Herzog, "Politicians Steal Limelight But a New Voice Heard in Baja," The Times of the Americas, July 26, 1989.

INEGI, México: Estadística económica y social por entidad federativa. México, SPP, 1984.

See David Pinera, ed., Historia de Tijuana. Tijuana, UNAM-UABC, 1985.

For maquiladora growth and ties with the United States, see Leslie Sklair, Assembling for Development. Boston, Unwyn Hyman, 1989; and Lawrence A. Herzog, Where North Meets South: Cities, Space and Politics on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Austin, CMAS/University of Texas Press, 1990, chapters 3, 6; more generally see Bernardo González A., Vinculación fronteriza a Estados Unidos y su cambio con la crisis, Tijuana, COLEF, 1987; Jesús Ramírez and Víctor Castillo, "La frontera México-Estados Unidos, estudio de las economías de Baja California y California," Cuadernos de Economía 1: 1.

See, for example, Amelia Malagamba, Televisión y su impacto en la población infantil de Tijuana. Tijuana, COLEF, 1986.

PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), "Como ganar Baja California," Tijuana. Unpublished strategy document, 1989, p.5.

Benedicto Ruiz Vargas, "Elecciones y escenario político en Baja California," Cuadernos de Economía Vol. 3: 1987.

See Zeta, June 30-July 7, 1989.

See William Murray, "Reporter At large (Tijuana)", The New Yorker, July 31, 1989, pp.57-66.

Sklair, 1989, op. cit., and Leslie Sklair, "Foreign Investment and the Creation of Transnational Capitalist Classes in the Mexican-U.S. and China-Hong Kong Border Regions", paper delivered at the Association of Borderland Scholars meetings, Tijuana, Mexico, February, 1990.

Sklair, 1989, op. cit, p.88.

Ruiz Vargas, op. cit.

Ramírez and Castillo, op. cit.

Ruiz Vargas, op. cit.

Alejandro Mungaray, Distribución del ingreso, comportamiento del consumo y precios en el área urbana de Tijuana, B.C., Tijuana, UABC, 1985.; Montaño, op. cit.

Montano, op. cit, p. 48.

Ibid.

Mungaray, op. cit.

Ruiz Vargas, op. cit.

Ruiz Vargas, op. cit. p.21

Patrick McDonnell, "Baja Governor's Resignation Tied to Political Fallout," Los Angeles Times, January 4, 1989.





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