Academic Interests

My historical research into 20th-century Mexican politics spans a wide range of topics, and my interests are similarly eclectic. While my fundamental focus is on the processes and practices of authoritarian rule, I have found it fruitful to pursue lines of inquiry both direct and oblique: trash pickers can reveal as much about the PRI as can a study of party nomination procedures.

Broadly, I am interested in both specific and comparative questions of:

  • Political culture and institutions
  • Authoritarianism and democratization
  • Urban politics and corruption

As a Mexicanist, my goal is to reach a deeper understanding of the mechanics of PRI rule and the experience of living within that system.

My current project focuses on the leaders of the Alianza de Camioneros, the organization that represented the interests of bus industry entrepreneurs from the 1920s to the 1980s. Using a case study of the politics of public transportation, and in particular the relationship between the Alianza and PRI politicians, I reveal how political culture prevented ruptures within the authoritarian regime and provided crucial stability during times of political and economic turmoil.

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