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Presidential Approval and Public Security in Mexico's War on Crime

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Vidal Romero
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.
Beatriz Magaloni
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University.
Alberto Díaz-Cayeros
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University.


To fight criminal organizations effectively, governments require support from significant segments of society. Citizen support provides important leverage for executives, allowing them to continue their policies. Yet winning citizens' hearts and minds is not easy. Public security is a deeply complex issue. Responsibility is shared among different levels of government; information is highly mediated by mass media and individual acquaintances; and security has a strong effect on peoples' emotions, since it threatens to affect their most valuable assets—life and property. How do citizens translate their assessments of public security into presidential approval? To answer this question, this study develops explicit theoretical insights into the conditions under which different dimensions of public security affect presidential approval. The arguments are tested using Mexico as a case study.

Copyright © University of Miami 2016

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