IDEOLOGY AND LAND REFORM POLICIES IN POSTREVOLUTIONARY MEXICO: 1915-1965 (AGRARIAN)
ARTIZ, CECILE SHAY
Doctor of Philosophy
This research considers the relationship of ideology to public policy. The hypothesis it tests is that verbal adherence to an ideological orientation by a decision maker should translate into the implementation of related public policies. It is further posited that the intensity of adherence to that ideological orientation affects the scope of the decision maker's policy choices. The ideological orientations and policy decisions of thirteen of Mexico's postrevolutionary presidents from 1915 to 1965 were selected to test this relationship. Using content analysis of presidential addresses before Congress, a measure of the intensity of verbal ideological adherence to the revolutionary goal of land reform was assessed for each postrevolutionary administration during the time frame of this analysis. This information was then compared to actual policy choices and implemented programs to determine whether ideological identification influenced the selection and implementation of land reform policies. The results of this research show that verbal ideological orientation toward the revolutionary goal of land reform reflected the intensity of adherence to that ideological goal. But in the case of Mexico, two competing theories of appropriate governmental action in the land reform area developed out of the revolution of 1910. In most cases one of these orientations received greater governmental attention than the other and influenced the policies that were implemented. During six administrations, presidents verbally identified with a liberal land reform orientation that emphasized agricultural development, productivity, and the distribution of land into private properties. The policies implemented during these administrations were consistent with this orientation. During three administrations, the orientation was centered on social justice through land reform, and the policies which were implemented tended to be redistributive and collectivist. In the other three cases the role of ideology seemed to be more symbolic. Presidents employed popular revolutionary symbols relating to land reform to encourage support for the regime. The conclusions reached by this research suggest that the relationship of ideology to public policies needs to be explored rather than discounted as much of the contemporary public policy literature suggests.