From Martyrdom to Power

The Partido Acción Nacional in Mexico

Yemile Mizrahi

From the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies

“Yemile Mizrahi’s fine analysis of the PAN’s evolution over the decades sheds important light on the organizational and ideological problems plaguing the party’s transformation from a long-standing opposition force to a governing party that can effectively consolidate its electoral support. This thoroughly researched and theoretically sophisticated volume is highly recommended to Mexicanists in particular and Latin Americanists in general.” —Kurt Weyland, University of Texas at Austin

“Mizrahi’s account of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) has both analytical power and clear policy implications. PAN leaders would be wise to take her suggestions about party organization and rules seriously.” —Joseph Klesner, Kenyon College

From Martyrdom to Power provides a comprehensive examination of the origins, development, and rising electoral prominence of Mexico’s Partido Acción Nacional (PAN). Yemile Mizrahi, widely recognized as a leading authority on this topic, bases this book on extensive research and original field work over the past ten years. Her personal interviews with government officials and party leaders and her surveys of public opinion in three Mexican states enrich this unique study.

YEMILE MIZRAHI is an affiliate of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars as a public policy scholar and works as a consultant in Washington, D.C.


“[This book] will certainly become standard fare for students of new Mexican politics.” — Latin American Research Review

“The strength of this insightful work stems from the author’s extensive field research in Mexico, and her contact and ultimately friendships with numerous leading politicians and businessmen engaged in wresting control of the political system long before PAN achieved success on the national level. She argues that the PAN developed numerous characteristics strengthening its ability to survive in the hostile environment the PRI created, but that the party now faces different challenges as a governing party and has not adequately met those challenges. Her major thesis is that the party’s internal rules severely limit the PAN’s flexibility to adapt to a more competitive environment.” — The Americas

“Excellently argued and presented. . . . essential to anyone wanting to understand the current political climate of Mexico.” — Multicultural Review

“Mizrahi’s findings raise important questions about the future of Mexican politics. This clearly written and convincing study is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary Mexican politics.” — Perspectives on Political Science

“An important book. . . .” — Choice