Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Second Department


Reader 1

Hilary Appel

Reader 2

David Bjerk

Rights Information

© 2017 Christopher C. White


This paper serves to further investigate factors influencing partisanship in Mexican politics with a focus on state spending and drug violence. With state spending, this paper builds on prior literature about political effects of federal social spending (Handelman 1997, Domínguez and Chappell 2004, Díaz-Cayeros 2009) to propose a similar theory regarding state social spending. The proposed panel data model for national elections between 2000 and 2012 finds that for diputados elections, a thousand-peso increase in state spending had a statistically significant influence on party voting – boosting PRI candidates (typically incumbents) by 0.66% and hurting both PAN and PRD candidates by 0.78% and 1.57% respectively. This paper also proposes an alternative theory of state spending whereby the effect comes from a linkage of spending and economic performance. With drug violence, this paper studies the importance of the Mexican Drug War on the Mexican political environment but finds no consistent party impact of instability (modeled with intentional homicide statistics) in national elections from 2000 to 2012. This paper delves into potential explanations for this finding including different effects by election, distrust of political parties, and the perception of little difference between parties. Finally, the paper outlines other responses to instability and drug violence to demonstrate approaches taken by Mexican citizens outside of the ballot box. These alternative strategies include protesting, lobbying, migration, and the rise of private security.