“The Emergence of the PRI: Land, Civil Society and Party Formation in Post-Revolutionary Mexico”
Speaker: Edwin F. Ackerman, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, UC Berkeley
Mexico's Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) was central to one of the longest-lived regimes of the 20th century. Yet, the PRI’s emergence remains severely understudied in a body of work devoted mostly to explaining how the party maintained power once it was consolidated. In his research, Ackerman examines why the PRI formed as a mass party in some regions, but not others despite attempts to do so and similarity in conditions. In doing so, he tests prevailing approaches to the understanding of party formation that conceive mass parties as reflections of pre-constituted social sectors or as an after-effect of modernizing states.
Bio: Ackerman’s research uses comparative-historical methods to explore how interactions between state and civil society shape the formation of political identities. His recent work pushes for a revitalization of the sociological study of parties, filing a critical gap in historical and political sociology. His work has appeared in Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Journal of Language and Politics, Contexts, Animal Politico and Jacobin, among other publications.