Security Cooperation between the United States and Mexico

The Politics of Crime in Mexico: Democratic Governance in a Security Trap

by Editors

This book explains why Mexico is stuck in a “low-level equilibrium” between democracy and citizen security in which the government’s persistent inability to provide citizen security undermines democratic rules of politics.  In part this reflects generations of history that have discouraged a generalized compliance with the law and undermined public confidence in government institutions, and it means that Mexico will require high-quality institutions capable of enforcing the law to “raise the equilibrium”.  In achieving this task, Mexico has both advantages and disadvantages, and much of the book is dedicated to detailing the “two central deficits” and “three core problems” that hinder success.  The author ultimately argues for a Mexican government that better engages with its civic society in order to create a genuine sense of trust and security. He argues that this can be accomplished by understanding 1) how violent crime develops, which he does not attempt to predict arguing it is far too complex, 2) the mobilization of civil society, 3) party-electoral reform, and 4) police-justice reform.

To read a short analysis and discussion of Bailey’s book, click here:  To read the entire book, click here

Este libro explica porqué México se ha quedado en un “equilibrio de bajo nivel” entre la democracia y la seguridad ciudadana, en el que la incapacidad persistente del gobierno para garantizar la seguridad ciudadana socava las reglas democráticas de la política. En parte, esto refleja la historia de las generaciones que ha desalentado un cumplimiento generalizado de la ley y socavado la confianza pública en las instituciones gubernamentales, e implica que México necesita instituciones de alta calidad capaces de aplicar la ley para “aumentar el equilibrio”. Al completer esta tarea México tiene ventajas y desventajas, y gran parte del libro está dedicado a detallar los “dos déficits centrales” y “tres problemas fundamentales” que dificultan el éxito. El autor argumenta a favor de un gobierno mexicano que coopere en mayor medida con su sociedad civil, con el objetivo de crear un verdadero sentido de confianza y seguridad. Sostiene que esto se puede lograr si uno comprende 1) cómo se desarrolla el crimen violento, que no trata de predecir sosteniendo que es demasiado complejo, 2) la movilización de la sociedad civil, 3) la reforma de los partidos políticos y las elecciones, y 4) la reforma policial-judicial.

Para leer un análisis corto y una discusión del libor de Bailey, favor de hacer clic aquí. Para leer el libro, favor de hacer clic aquí.




The U.S.-Mexico Network’s Imagining 2024 project is designed to provide readers a quick overview of key issues in US-Mexico relations – the background of the issue, its current state, where we ought to be by 2024, and how to get there.


Each short essay is coupled with suggested background readings for those interested in a more detailed understanding of the issue at hand.  And as an electronic publication, both the essays and their associated resource pages are updated as needed to keep the information and analysis fresh.

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43 Kidnapped Students

Latest News: U.S.-Mexico Border Management Cooperation and Security Challenges

by Editors
Recent events related to bi-national security issues have been multifaceted, ranging from border security to creating unified state police forces in Mexico, fighting the illicit drug trade, recapturin...more.