Mexico's Mid-term Elections & New Balances of Power


Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:20pm

For a recording of this event, please click here.

Mexico's July 2021 mid-term elections were seen as a key test of strength between the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and its opponents. What are the election’s consequences, both for the AMLO government’s agenda and for Mexican democracy?

Speakers: Denisse Dresser, Political analyst and columnist; Professor of Political Science, ITAM; Lorena Becerra, Political Analyst, Head of Public Opinion Research at Reforma; Amalia Pulido Gomez, Professor of Political Science, CIDE; Gustavo Flores Macias, Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs and Associate Professor, Cornell University
Moderated by: Steven Levitsky, Director, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; Professor of Government, Harvard University

Denisse Dresser is the author of numerous publications on Mexican politics and U.S.-Mexico relations including Neopopulist Solutions to Neoliberal Problems: Mexico's National Solidarity Program, Exporting Conflict: Transboundary Consequences of Mexican Politics, Treading Lightly and Without a Stick: International Actors and the Promotion of Democracy in Mexico, Falling From the Tightrope: The Political Economy of the Mexican Crisis, and Mexico: Dysfunctional Democracy, Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. She has published articles in the Journal of Democracy, Current History, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics and Foreign Policy. She writes a political column for the Mexican newspaper Reforma and the news weekly Proceso and was the host of the political talk shows Entreversiones and El País de Uno on Mexican television. She was a contributing writer at the Los Angeles Times, has published numerous opinion pieces in the Los Angeles newspaper La Opinion, and is a frequent commentator on Mexican politics in the U.S. and Canadian media. She has participated in the radio show Mesa política hosted by Carmen Aristegui and the political talk show La hora de opinar hosted by Leo Zuckermann. She has also worked as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program, the Open Society Institute, Barings Research and the Bank of Montreal. Dr. Dresser has been a member of the Research Council of the Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy, the World Academy of Arts and Science, the advisory board of Trans-National Research Corporation, the editorial board of the Latin American Research Review, the Latin American advisory board of Human Rights Watch, the Global Affairs Board at Occidental College, the board of the General Service Foundation, the Governing Board of the Institute of Lifelong Learning at UNESCO and the editorial committee of the Fondo de Cultura Económica. She also served on the Citizens’ Committee in charge of investigating Mexico’s dirty war. She was on the board of the Human Rights Commission for Mexico City for 8 years.

Lorena Becerra is a political analyst and the Head of Public Opinion Research for one of Mexico’s leading newspapers, Reforma. She has two decades of experience in the area of public opinion, which includes working in the Office of the Presidency with Felipe Calderon and CIDAC. Ms. Becerra has collaborated as an editorialist in Reforma, Voz y Voto, Eje Central and Animal Politico newspapers and magazines, and contributed in the latest volume on the precision of electoral surveys sponsored by INE. Ms. Becerra also acts as a consultant in political analysis for financial and banking institutions and is a regular analyst for diverse media outlets in Mexico. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Duke University and a BA from ITAM.

Amalia Pulido-Gómez is an assistant professor the Political Studies Division at CIDE. Before joining CIDE she was a postdoctoral fellow at El Colegio de México in the project "Big Data and Social Sciences". She earned her PhD in Political Science from the University of North Texas. He was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California-San Diego. Her research includes the study of political and criminal violence, political parties and elections and new methodological techniques such as the use of big data in political science. Her work has been published in different journals like Party Politics, Electoral Studies and the Journal of Politics in Latin America.

Gustavo A. Flores-Macías is Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs and Associate Professor of Government Cornell University. His research and teaching interests include a variety of topics related to political and economic development in Latin America. Currently, his research focuses on three main areas: 1) the politics of economic reforms, 2) taxation and state capacity, and 3) the consequences of the militarization of law enforcement. Work related to these interests has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Democracy, Journal of Politics, Peace Review, Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Politics & Societey, Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and as chapters in edited volumes. His first book, After Neoliberalism? The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America (Oxford University Press 2012), studies the economic policies of left-of-center governments in Latin America, focusing on the role that party systems play in facilitating or hindering economic transformations. The book won the Latin American Studies Association Tomassini Award in 2014. He is also the editor of the volume, The Political Economy of Taxation in Latin America (Cambridge University Press 2019), which studies the political obstacles to taxation and progressivity in the region.

Steven Levitsky is the Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. As the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government, his research focuses on democratization, authoritarianism, political parties, and weak and informal institutions. He is author (with Daniel Ziblatt) of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018), a New York Times Best-Seller that has been published in 25 languages, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Lucan Way) (Cambridge, 2010), and Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge, 2003), and co-editor of Informal Institutions and Democracy in Latin America (with Gretchen Helmke) and The Resurgence of the Latin American Left (with Kenneth Roberts). He has written frequently for the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Vox, The New Republic, The Monkey Cage, La República (Peru) and Folha de São Paulo (Brazil). He is currently writing a book (with Lucan Way) on the durability of revolutionary regimes. Levitsky received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Presented in collaboration with Weatherhead Center for International Affairs