Soledad Loaeza’s most recent book, El Partido Acción Nacional, la larga marcha, 1939–1994, (Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1999), is the product of her long-term interest in twentieth-century Mexican conservatism. Her research traces the institutional development of long-standing loyal opposition that in 2000 won the presidential election over the official party in power since 1929.
In the past year, Loaeza has undertaken a study of presidential power in Mexico. She questions the views that emphasize personality factors and proposes instead to look at presidents’ decisions from an institutional perspective to find the patterns and constraints that limit and structure their choices. Her current research focuses on President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz’s administration, from 1964–1970, which is considered one of the darkest chapters in Mexican authoritarianism. Loaeza believes that a better understanding of a period that became a turning point in the Mexican fin de siècle demands an analysis of the international, political, and institutional context in which dramatic decisions were made. However, her aim is more general, as she wants to explore the nature of presidential power. Loaeza will spend her year at the Radcliffe Institute completing this research.
Loaeza earned her BA in international relations at El Colegio de Mexico, where she was head of the International Relations Center and is currently professor of political science. She holds a PhD in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, where, in 1999, she was appointed to the Alfred Grosser Chair.