Understanding Mexico’s Security Conundrum  book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Mexico’s Security Conundrum

ISBN 9780367424121
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
106 Pages

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Book Description

Unlike other analyses which aim to explain the notion of national security in Mexico and at the same time address the security challenges facing the country, this short text describes the distinction between national, internal and public security in Mexico. It is the first book to provide detailed analysis on Mexico’s security policy and its long-term consequences.

Former Mexican government official Augustin Maciel-Padilla contends that the absence of a clear understanding of the complexities and sophistication of the concept of security has the potential to aggravate security conditions in Mexico. Achieving a proper understanding allows for a better guidance in confronting the grave insecurity facing the country, and for addressing other issues such as human rights, democracy and the country’s international exposure. Maciel-Padilla reasons that Mexico is required to formulate a comprehensive, long-term, security strategy, and with this book he proposes a contribution towards that long-term goal.

Understanding Mexico’s Security Conundrum will be essential for scholars, students, and policy makers.

Table of Contents


1. National Security and its external dimension

2. Obstacles to understanding national security in Mexico

3. Conceptualization: Who defines national security?

4. Execution: How national security is implemented?

5. A complex security context and the reasons for change

6. Conclusion

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Agustin Maciel-Padilla is Head of the Border Affairs and Security Section at the Mexican Embassy in Belize. In the Government of Mexico, Dr. Maciel-Padilla has served in the Consulate General in El Paso, Texas, as officer in charge of border security affairs. His assignments have also included security advisor to the Undersecretary for North America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and assistant to the Political Affairs Section at the Mexican Embassy to the United Kingdom.


'An absolute must reference book for all those interested in learning about the historical evolution and current situation of Mexican national security and its components. The reader finds a unique intellectual effort that masterfully synthesizes the complexity of Mexican national security, including its external conditioning factors, internal risks and threats, key actors and the decision-making process.'

Marcos P. Moloeznik, Professor of National Security, Department of Political Science, Universidad de Guadalajara

'Living next to the world’s most powerful country and largest economy often means that most Mexican foreign policy actions and decisions necessarily gravitate around the relationship with the neighbor to the north. It is in this context that Agustin Maciel-Padilla has come forth proposing some additional thinking in Understanding Mexico’s Security Conundrum.'

Americas Quarterly