540.2 Changes in the composition and organization of the Mexican business elite

Friday, August 3, 2012: 12:45 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Cristina PUGA , Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, DF, Mexico
Matilde LUNA , Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, DF, Mexico
Changes in the Composition and Organization of the Mexican Business Elite


In the last two decades, the Mexican business elite has drastically changed as a combined result of democratic changes and economic internationalization. These have had an important effect on the elite’s composition as well as in its social, economic and political behavior that now point out towards a new pattern which may be generalized among other countries in the Latin American region and other emergent economies.

 The paper explores these changes in order to recognize the new relevant sectors, their new organizing trends and the shift in their values and norms that explains a new relationship with state power and society. It considers that internationalization has brought forward a clear predominance of a new export-oriented elite which has overcome the former financial sector, at the same time that new economic sectors have developed such as a tourism oriented commercial sector and a new middle-range, technological-developed industrial sector much intertwined with big, corporate export firms.

Changes towards democratization in the political system, on the other hand, have led to a fade-out of the old large business political organizations which once monopolized the relation with the state and given way to many different ways of business organization and participation. There is also a shift towards a greater mobility between the state, market and civil society spheres, which creates new patterns of   business social and political behavior such as CSR promotion, philanthropy, social activism through movements or social foundations, and participation in both domestic and international governance groups.

 Finally the paper briefly explores the lack of new norms to cope with those changes and with the social and political tensions that they create.