Mexico: from authoritarianism to where?



Seminar with



Friday 14 September, 10:15 - 12:00

Aud. 1, Vilhelm Bjerknes' hus, Blindern, University of Oslo
(see map)


Registration here



Romana Falcón Vega:  “Historical roots of authoritarianism. The difficult place of Indians and peasants in the construction of the Mexican nation.”

Lorenzo Meyer: “Mexico: from authoritarianism to where?”


In the aftermath of the contested elections of July 1st, in which the candidate of the long-time ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) gained the majority of votes, there is a lively controversy in Mexico on the future of the country’s political system.  In this seminar two distinguished Mexican historians, Lorenzo Meyer and Romana Falcón Vega, will examine underlying structures of the Mexican society and political system of importance for understanding the current situation. Falcón Vega will concentrate on the subdued position of indigenous peoples and popular classes, with a view to political clientelism, but also to some ethnic social movements in defense of territories. Meyer, who is also a journalist and active in the public debate, will present an overview of the political situation and raise some highly debated key questions in regard to the future of the political system.


Romana Falcón Vega has worked at the Center for Historical Studies at Colegio de México as a teacher and researcher since 1978. She holds a PhD in Political Science from St Antony's College, Oxford University (1983), with the thesis "The Rise and Fall of Military Caciquismo in Revolutionary Mexico. The Case of San Luis Potosí." She holds a BA (licenciatura) in Sociology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (1973) and a Master in Political Science from the Center for International Studies, Colegio de Mexico (1975).
Her research interests revolve around social history and power, Mexico's foreign relations, and social resistance movements in Mexico in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has been visiting professor at several foreign universities such as the University of California, San Diego; University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University and the Instituto Ortega y Gasset, Madrid. Throughout her career she has earned numerous awards and accolades, both nationally and internationally.


Revolución y caciquismo. San Luis Potosí. (1910-1938), México, El Colegio de México, 1984.

Las rasgaduras de la descolonización. Españoles y mexicanos a mediados del siglo XIX, México, El Colegio de México, 1996.

Las naciones de una república. La cuestión indígena en las leyes y el congreso mexicanos, 1867-1876, México, Biblioteca Parlamentaria de México, Congreso de la Unión, 1999.

México descalzo. Estrategias de sobrevivencia frente a la modernización liberal, México, Plaza y Janés, 2002.

Historias desde los márgenes. Senderos hacia el pasado de la sociedad mexicana. Antologías, El Colegio de México, 2011.


Lorenzo Meyer Cossio is professor emeritus at the College of Mexico , and well known both as an historian and as journalist/editorialist.  He has a PhD in International Relations from El Colegio de México, and he conducted postdoctoral studies in political science at the University of Chicago. He has written several important works on the external relations of Mexico and the Mexican Revolution, and in his work he has focused  on authoritarian forms of power and democratization processes of the twentieth century. His long academic career in Mexico, USA, Spain and England has earned him several distinctions, among others the Scientific Research Award granted by the Mexican Academy of Science. In 2011 he received the National Prize of Sciences and Arts 2011 in the field of History, Social Sciences and Philosophy. Dr. Meyer has been a visiting professor in numerous universities including University of Columbia, University of Chicago, and Stanford University. For his extensive work as a journalist/editorialist, he has received the National Journalism Award.

Selection of books:

Mexico and the United States in the Oil Controversy, 1917-1942, Austin & London, University of Texas Press, 1977.

La segunda muerte de la Revolución Mexicana, México, Cal y Arena, 1992.

Liberalismo autoritario. Las contradicciones del sistema político mexicano, México, Océano, 1995.

Fin de régimen y democracia incipiente. México hacia el Siglo XXI, México, Océano, 1998.

El Cactus y el Olivo. Las relaciones de México y España en el siglo XX, México, Océano, 2001.

El Estado en busca del ciudadano. Un ensayo sobre el proceso político mexicano contemporáneo, México, Océano, 2005.

El espejismo democrático. De la euforia del cambio a la continuidad, México, Océano, 2007.

Las raíces del nacionalismo petrolero en México. México Océano, 2009.

México y el mundo. Historia de sus relaciones exteriores la marca del nacionalismo, México, Colegio de Mexico, 2010 Tomo VI.

México para los mexicanos. La revolución y sus adversarios, México, Colegio de Mexico, 2010.



Published Aug. 30, 2012 10:42 AM - Last modified Apr. 9, 2015 3:54 PM