Caciquismo (roughly translated as "boss politics") has played a major role in Mexican political and social life. Loosely knit interest groups, or "caciques," of diverse characterâsyndicates, farmers, left- and right-wingers, white-collar workersâhave exercised great power within Mexico's distinctive political system. The peculiarities of Mexico's system have greatly depended on this kind of informal politics, which combines repression, patronage, and charismatic leadership. As such, caciquismo fits uncomfortably within the formal analysis of laws, parties, and elections and has been relatively neglected by academics. Though its demise has often been predicted, it has survived, evolved, and adjusted to Mexico's rapid post-revolutionary transformation. Incorporating the research of historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists, this book reevaluates the crucial role of the cacique in modern Mexico. It suggests that caciquismo has survived decades of change and upheaval and remains an important, if underestimated, feature of recent Mexican politics. Contributors include Christopher Boyer (University of Illinois at Chicago), Keith Brewster (University of Newcastle upon Tyne), Matthew Butler (Queen's University, Belfast), Marco CalderÃ³n (El Colegio de MichoacÃ¡n, Mexico), Maria Teresa FernÃ¡ndez Aceves (Centro de Investigaciones en Estudios Superiores en AntropologÃa Social [CIESAS], Mexico), Rogelio HernÃ¡ndez RodrÃuez (El Colegio de MÃ©xico), Stephen Lewis (California State University, Chico), Salvador Maldonado Aranda (El Colegio de MichoacÃ¡n, Mexico), Jennie Purnell (Boston College), Jan Rus (Tzotzil Instituto de AsesorÃa AntropolÃ³gica para la RegiÃ³n Maya, and Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego), Pieter de Vries (Wageningen University), and J. Eduardo ZÃ¡rate H (El Colegio de MÃ©xico, MichoacÃ¡n).