Attitudes Toward Democracy: Mexico in Comparative Perspective.

Moreno, A. & Méndez, P.

Mexico's gradual democratization had a critical point in 2000, when the presidential election brought about political alternation in that country. If democracy requires a compatible value system that helps such system endure, how democratic are Mexicans today and what implications does this have for democratic consolidation in Mexico? This article examines new survey data to address this old question. Our findings reveal that the prevailing political culture in Mexico expresses comparatively low support for democracy and relatively high support for non-democratic government, on the one hand, and low interpersonal trust, low levels of tolerance, and a strong emphasis on deference, on the other. Education is an important determinant of democratic values, and indidividual variation is significant on a wide range of attitudes. Changes over time also indicate that Mexicans have reinforced both democratic and non-democratic values in the last few years, which makes it hard to assess whether, overall, Mexico's democratic values are expanding or shrinking.

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