[Excerpt] This introductory chapter addresses three topics. The first section examines the historical origins of Mexico's postrevolutionary authoritarian regime, focusing on the principal institutional and coalitional legacies of regime formation in the aftermath of the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution. It also addresses briefly the relationship between authoritarian rule and import-substituting industrialization from the 1940s through the 1970s, as well as the challenges posed by economic crisis in the 1980s. The second part of this chapter analyzes in greater detail the impact of economic crisis and restructuring on the stability of Mexico's governing coalition and the growing importance of opposition parties and electoral competition in the 1980s and early 1990s. The third section examines the ways in which economic restructuring and key political developments altered established patterns of state-society relations. This chapter concludes by considering the implications of these developments for democratization. The conclusion also asks whether the remaining obstacles to regime change can be solved incrementally, or whether the transition to democracy in Mexico will necessarily involve a sharp break from past political practices.