Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Workers, parties and a “New Deal:” A comparative analysis of corporatist alliances in Mexico, and the United States, 1910–1940

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Mexico experienced the twentieth century’s first social revolution, a decade of struggle from which emerged a new political regime – a post-revolutionary authoritarian or single-party state one – with President Lázaro Cárdenas as leader by 1934. This post-revolutionary creation included organized labor and peasants, a strong interventionist state and a hegemonic party. Cárdenas’ U.S. counterpart, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, too, was leading dramatic ‘New Deal’ institutional and political revolution in the 1930s and 1940s that spawned a new order of expanded federal government, a renovated Democratic Party, and new movements and interest groups, notably, labor. Both nations featured the same major actors: the state, political parties, and organized labor. Both presidents calculated that preserving labor alliances was crucial for formation and legitimization of a new political order, for maintaining conditions conducive to private-sector investment and economic growth, and for political and economic crisis management. Labor’s growing role reshuffled corporatist alliances within and between international neighbors. This study places Mexico and the United States in comparative context in the early twentieth century and analyzes elite control and inclusion of organized labor in transformation of political landscapes in two different political regimes – a democratic one couched in an established constitution and a post-revolutionary authoritarian one born of a bloody upheaval.


© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


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Labor History