Mexico’s Professional Career Service Law: Governance, Political Culture and Public Administrative Reform

Donald E. Klingner, David Arellano Gault


Less than three years after the historic election of President Vicente Fox in July 2000, Mexico passed a professional career service reform law (Ley de Servicio Profesional de Carrera, 2003) for national government ministries. This law, and the linked transformations in governance and political and administrative culture that underlie it, have stimulated public administrative reform at all levels of Mexican government – national, state and local. This paper: (1) presents a conceptual frame for the evolution of public personnel systems in developing countries, (2) describes Mexico’s professional career service law (LSPC) and the historical conditions that led up to it, (3) places the LSPC in the context of underlying changes in Mexican governance, political culture and institutions, and (4) uses selected economic, social, political and administrative indicators to benchmark the impact of the LSPC and these related changes on public administrative reform in Mexico today.

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