1st Edition

NAFTA and Democracy in Mexico A Successful Failure?

By Pablo Calderón Martínez Copyright 2017
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    After describing NAFTA as ‘the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere’, Donald Trump’s election seemed to represent the final nail in the coffin for North American economic integration. Following a decade of stagnation, however, Trump’s victory presents a timely opportunity to reconsider North American integration and evaluate NAFTA’s democratic track record in Mexico.

    In this book, Pablo Calderón Martínez presents a detailed analysis of NAFTA’s influence as a political tool for democracy in Mexico. Extending beyond a mere economic or social exploration of the consequences of NAFTA, Calderón Martínez uses a three-tiered analysis based on causality mechanisms to explain how the interactions between internationalisation and democratisation unfolded in Mexico. Calderón Martínez’s analysis demonstrates that Mexico’s internationalisation project under the framework of NAFTA gave shape to, if not made, Mexico’s democratisation process.

    An original and timely resource for scholars and students interested in understanding how – in cases like Mexico where transitions to democracy are characterised by a finely poised balance of power – small influences from abroad can make significant long-lasting differences domestically.

    1. Introduction  2. Framing the Debate  3. NAFTA, Modernisation and Democracy in Mexico  4. ‘Top-down’ Democracy: NAFTA, Elites (Conditionality) and Institutional Change  5. Democratisation from Below: Civil Society and NAFTA’s ‘Democratic Legitimacy’ Problem  6. Conclusions and Epilogue: Recommendations for A Democratic NAFTA


    Pablo Calderón Martínez is a Lecturer at Aston University, UK and a Visiting Professor at the Department of International Studies, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico. Pablo’s research focuses on Spanish and Latin American democratisation processes, political economy, elites and political culture. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Contemporary and European Studies, the Bulletin of Latin American Research and Government and Opposition. He has held academic positions at King’s College London and at the New College of the Humanities London.

    'A novel interpretation of NAFTA's largely unintended political and cultural consequences, it should be of interest to students of both Mexican politics and democratic transitions.'

    Andrew Schrank, Olive Watson Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Brown University

    'This is a welcome addition to the body of scholarship on the effects of NAFTA on Mexico, and more broadly, on the impact of regional cooperation on development. Pablo Calderón does a very good job drawing from the literatures on regionalism and democratic theory, weaving in a careful empirical study of Mexican transition to provide us with a new perspective on the relationship between NAFTA and Mexican democratization. It should be part of any study of NAFTA.'

    Mark Aspinwall, Professor of International Relations and Chair of the Department of International Studies, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City

    'This is an excellent book. Pablo Calderón Martínez combines theoretical considerations with his deep empirical knowledge of Mexico to develop extremely valuable insights into the democratization process in a Latin American country. He shows that the impact of internationalization on democracy in Mexico has been complex and multifaceted. His thought-provoking discussion of the broader relationship between democracy, domestic elites, civil society and the international context is superb. I would strongly recommend this book as an excellent addition to the literature on democratization and Mexican politics.'

    Anna Gwiazda, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Kings College London