Sarah Osten

  • Fellowship year:2009-2010
  • University: University of Chicago
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Latin America
  • Dissertation Title: Brothers in Arms, Neighbors in Conflict: Plutarco Elias Calles and the Radical Mexican Southeast, 1920-28
  • During the 1920’s, in the immediate postrevolutionary period, the groundwork was laid for the course that Mexican politics would subsequently follow. By tracing the foundation and development of local, regional, and national political parties over the course of the 1920’s, this dissertation shows that Mexico’s single party political system did not emerge out of a vacuum in 1929, with the founding of what would become the PRI, but rather demonstrates that many political parties existed in Mexico in the postrevolutionary period, and that the strongest potential opposition parties were crushed by the Mexican state by the close of the 1920’s. This dissertation therefore provides a new account of the significance of parties, campaigns, and elections in modern Mexico. Beyond Mexico, it underscores the potential historical significance of political parties and campaigns, even in the absence of fully democratic elections.