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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Bruce Michael Bagley

Second Committee Member

William C. Smith

Third Committee Member

Felipe Aguero

Fourth Committee Member

William O. Walker III


This dissertation studies the process of insertion of Mexico into the global networks of interdependence in the post-Cold War period. It analyzes the responses implemented by the Salinas de Gortari administration (1988-1994) to the challenge posed by the fight for capital and markets that characterized the international arena in the 1990s after the collapse of the Socialist bloc. The main hypothesis is that Mexico moved from a closed economic and political model characterized by strong nationalism that developed during the 20th century to a stage of “fragmented interdependence” at the end of the Cold War, defined by a partial integration into the global networks of interdependence, in terms of the issues involved and the affected population. This situation was caused by the establishment of primary links of interdependence due to the existence of characteristics provided by the international structure, which I call “anchor issues”, that had a ”cascading effect” on other issues of the Mexican agenda, like democracy and human rights. This dissertation seeks to shed light on the possibilities for successful integration of other Third World countries into the networks of interdependence. The study finds that the end of the Cold War accelerated Mexico’s insertion into the “ruling world centers”, which was evident in the negotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement. On the issue of democracy and human rights, the Salinas administration still resisted foreign pressures, but at the end of his administration, the Mexican government started making important changes to synchronize the country with the Western democratic model. That is, it is possible to perceive a “cascading effect” from the changes that took place in the economic area. On the issue of international drug control, Mexico only made rhetorical changes basically due to the intrinsic contradiction between the liberal values promoted by the commercial and human rights regimes and the punitive approach on which the combat against drug trafficking is based.


Mexico-Post Cold War-interdependence-democracy-NAFTA-drug trafficking