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Process Management in the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Relationship

  • Author(s): Bailey, John;
  • Guillén-López, Tonatiuh
  • et al.

In the absence of an overarching strategic framework, it is useful to conceive of the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Mexico as made up of a series of “baskets” of policies and programs. Each of these baskets constitutes a policy subsystem that responds to different arrays of institutions and interest groups; the relative priority of the baskets is typically weighed differently by different actors in each system; and the capacity of central governments to exercise influence varies across subsystems as well. This basket image obviously distorts and oversimplifies, but even so, the imagery conveys the complexity of the individual policy “whirlpools” and their interactions. The first section of the chapter traces the path in bilateral relations to the current setting; the second looks at the policy and programmatic issues associated with the rise to preeminence of security; and the third examines efforts to “rebalance” security with other issue areas. The last speculates about challenges likely to emerge in the Obama administration and the second half of the Calderón presidency.

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