Reversal of Fortunes: Changes in the Public Policy Environment and Mexico’s Energy Reform

  • Tony Payan


From recent reexaminations of the relationship between politics and public policy, it has been found that the structure of public policy produces its own politics, just as politics produces its own type of public policy. The argument is that public policy generates its own incentives and resources and provides actors with information and cues that encourage their political views and convictions, but they also influence other actors – including political opposition groups, interest groups, and the masses – to articulate their own alternatives more accurately and push back, sometimes threatening public policies that appeared to have enjoyed a broad political consensus.

Recent developments in Mexico do suggest that the public policies of the last three decades have indeed produced significant political consequences – and resistance – all of which now threaten the sustainability of the public policies of democratization and liberalization that the country has pursued over the last three decades. The main political consequence is observable in the electoral results of 2018. The last general election caused a major change in the political and policy alignment of the country because the winning party of the presidency and both chambers, The National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), is a relatively new Leftist political party that ran against the country’s status quo.

To explore these feedback loop dynamics and the resulting shift in the policy environment we focus on energy reform precisely because it came to be identified as the last (and major) step in what had been a steady pursuit of economic liberalization – or, as MORENA put it, the ultimate symbol of neoliberal politics that had to be reversed.


Corruption Democratic participation Energy reform MORENA NAFTA Organized crime PAN Pact for Mexico PEMEX PRI 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Payan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Baker Institute, Rice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad JuárezCiudad JuárezMexico

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