Making sense of Mexico's place in the world: a role theoretical analysis of Mexico's foreign policy
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date06/12/2022
Loera González, Omar Alejandro
This thesis aims to answer why Mexico has an atypical foreign policy for a country that can be considered a middle power and tackles this empirical puzzle through the analytical tools of role theory. In this work, I argue that conflicting expectations from several actors – domestic and external – have led to a foreign policy that is contradictory to what is expected for a country with Mexico's material capabilities and for its foreign policy objectives. The time frame of the thesis ranges from 1986 to 2018, when Mexico faced various transformations. These transformations occurred in the international system and domestically with democratization and an economic opening that drove the confrontation between its two foreign policy orientations. The different interpretations of these orientations on how to implement Mexico’s foreign policy led to disputes that affected the country's diplomatic performance as a middle power. Through case studies, the thesis examines three specific settings where Mexico could have displayed middle-power behaviour. The first case study analyses Mexico’s controversial membership and performance in the Iraq crisis within the Security Council of the United Nations from 2002–2003. The second case study examines Mexico’s ambition to display a regional leadership role in regional multilateral bodies such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Pacific Alliance. Finally, the third case study focuses on Mexico’s engagement in the niche issue of respect for human rights and democracy promotion. These three case studies show how role conflict has operated in Mexico’s foreign policy. In summary, this work contributes to scholarship on Mexican foreign policy and role theory, and it is the first comprehensive application of role theory to the study of Mexican foreign policy.
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