MEXICO: López Obrador’s “Fourth Transformation”


How is the López Obrador administration attempting to transform Mexico? Denise Dresser looks at the initial stages.

The new presidency of Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador is akin to a national roller-coaster ride. There are moments of excitement, moments of uncertainty, moments of panic. The new government is moving quickly in order to differentiate itself from past administrations and enacting a broad array of bold changes; some good, some bad, some ugly. The country is caught in a constant whirlwind of presidential announcements, decrees, constitutional reforms, and presidential memorandums, making it difficult to distinguish between what is improvised from what is transcendental, what is authoritarian from what is democratic, what is progressive from what cannot be classified or applauded as such. We live a daily combination of mixed feelings: enthusiasm, doubt, approval, dismay. López Obrador’s greatest triumph so far is to shake up the status quo; his greatest challenge is to prove that his “Fourth Transformation” will lead to evolution and not regression.

Denise Dresser
Publication date: 
August 21, 2019
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article