This chapter explores some of the political and economic consequences of such centralization. It discusses in broad terms the unfolding of events that led to the economic crises and, in each case, the political crises that were engendered. The chapter explores how, sexenio by sexenio, successive Mexican governments have cautiously searched for solutions to these crises by using economic and political liberalization. The interplay between economic crisis and political change has brought to the fore new political forces and practices in government, principally from the opposition parties, which have further intensified the presence of decentralization as a key element within the national agenda. The chapter argues that the process of opening up the political space by means of electoral reforms and the recognition of opposition victories at the state and local levels has been pursued in a piecemeal fashion in order to suit the center's interests.