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Redefining Mexican "Security": Society, State, and Region Under NAFTA

James F. Rochlin
ISBN: 978-1-55587-569-5
1997/217 pages/LC: 13585
"Provide[s] a persuasive, indeed compelling, account of how, under NAFTA, as he puts it, ‘Mexico is undergoing a crisis of authority' in which ‘hegemony unravels, and the state is left to rely more upon coercion than societal consent in its attempt to cultivate order'.... Rochlin ... has written an important book which deserves to be widely read in policy making circles in Washington as well as in the academy of international studies."—Anthony Payne, Review of International Studies


This pioneering effort to conceptualize unforeseen—and nontraditional—security issues in Mexico confronts what went unaddressed in virtually the entire debate surrounding the NAFTA negotiations: the process of redefining security in Mexico within the context of increased economic integration with the U.S. and Canada.

Grappling with the question of what "security" means in the Post-Cold War era, Rochlin discusses the economic dimensions of Mexican security concerns, the role of indigenous peoples, the evolution of democracy, military-civilian relations and human rights, feminist perspectives, environmental issues, and narcotrafficking, all within a historical context. His practical analysis—drawing heavily on a critical theory perspective, but borrowing as well from postmodernism and classical realism—is also an important contribution to the study of conflict resolution.


James F. Rochlin is professor of political science at Okanagan University College and research fellow at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University (Canada). His most recent publication is Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy Towards Latin America.


  • A Conceptual Introduction. Dimensions of Mexican Economic Security: Neoliberalism, Ecocide, and Migration.
  • The Indigenous and Mexican Security: Chiapas and Southern Mexico.
  • The Illicit Economy and Security: The Discourse on Narcotrafficking.
  • Democracy, Human Rights, and Mexican Security.
  • The Mexican Armed Forces, the State, and Civil Society.
  • Conclusion.