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ABSTRACT

Party identification is a central concept in studies of parties and elections. Drawing from an extensive literature linking the concept of party identification to the understanding of Mexico's electoral politics, this article explores how the Mexican experience informs the understanding of party identification in general, especially in emerging democracies. There, voters' attachments to political parties are usually seen both as essential to and a positive sign of democratic development. This study finds evidence consistent with these arguments in the Mexican case but also identifies aspects of Mexican party identification that are not so clearly supportive of democratic politics; that indeed may delay or even undermine democratization. These findings illustrate the relevance of the Mexican experience to the wider literature on parties and elections, particularly the well-documented relationship between party identifications and democratization.