This work deals with the relationship between the public rural policy process Mexico. It is economic and the persistence of poverty in assumed that the peasants have extraordinary interests based on the need to minimize risk. The hypothesis investigated is that any policy that does not recognize this special interest will neither be successful in gaining the co-operation of the peasants nor in bringing greater prosperity to the countryside. This hypothesis is tested by an examination of public policy in two eras of modern Mexican politics. In the period from 1940 to 1970 the Mexican government encouraged industrialization and the growth of capital-intensive agriculture. From 1970 to 1982 greater emphasis was placed on serving the lower classes more directly. In neither period, however, did the government's programmes gain the active co-operation of the peasants. In conclusion it is suggested that the centralized nature of decision-making in the Mexican public policy process may concentrate power in the hands of those who are unable to understand the problems of the rural poor and who, therefore, are unprepared to respond appropriately.
Bibliography: p. 206-219.