In his article on corruption the Mexican political system Morris begins by saying that corruption has always been a part of the Mexican government tot he point where the two have become synonymous. Morris also hypothesizes that the longstanding negative public reaction to the government, as well as cyclical presence of anti corruption campaigns show that corruption coincides with political stability and that the causes of corruption have not changed much over time. What has changed is the kind of corruption that ensues. As external pressures have increased the stabilizing effect of corruption has changed.
Especially in the Morris reading it was interesting to see how in 1999 the author discussed the long history in the country. The rule of the PRI and President Salinas ended in 1997 and the article says Mexico had a “historically unique opportunity” to combat corruption and increase transparency. I find this interesting because the small amount of information I know about the Mexican government revolves around the most recent presidential transition from Pena Nieto to AMLO. After he left office, Pena Nieto was found to have been bribed. While I do not know if many changes occurred in the last two decades, it appears that although the situation was ripe for reform, nothing significantly changed the corrupt nature of the government.
In this article, Grindle discusses how the structure of the sexenio and the prevalence patronage have come to shape the Mexican bureaucracy. She details the many ways that the patron-client system works, revealing how important it is for bureaucrats to create strong social networks in order to advance their careers. Additionally, she focuses on how this system effects bureaucracy and emphasizes that there are both pros (dedication of bureaucrats, efficiency, trust) and cons (lack of merit recruitment, high turnover rates, inexperienced bureaucrats).
What I have found interesting from these readings is the extent to which Mexican bureaucrats must network in order to both obtain and keep their jobs. They must be in the right networks during administration turnover to prove their loyalty to whoever is in charge of an agency, and then continue to be in the right networks to keep their job or get a new one once the administration turns over. The Grindle reading points out that it is the extremely personal nature of these networks that is problematic and leads to corruption. Overall, these readings seem to fit into the Frederich argument that these bureaucrats need less political accountability and more impersonal and meritocratic networks.
I knew very little about Mexico coming into these readings, and found it very interesting how corrupt it was. I feel as if before I viewed Mexico as having weak governance and rule of law, but the two are more connected that I thought. I also got a good idea of corruption before and during the 1990s, but the one recent article didn’t go into it as much, so I think my main questions would be is what is the current state of corruption is toady?