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The Business of Governing: Corruption and Informal Politics in Mexico City's Markets, 1946–1958

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Early online date14 Aug 2017
Accepted/In press25 Mar 2017
E-pub ahead of print14 Aug 2017


King's Authors


This paper uses corruption in Mexico City's markets as a lens to examine state–society relations and the construction of the PRI's hegemony in post-1946 Mexico. It presents three case studies that show how some ostensibly corrupt practices supported state functioning, while others contributed to the process of party building. It demonstrates that these practices were driven by shifting social dynamics and conflicts among vendors, which operated through networks of formal and informal power. Historicising corruption illuminates the strengths and weaknesses of the Mexican state as well as the balance between co-optation and popular demands that lay behind it in this period.

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