Mexico and the Future

  • September 01, 1995
  • Dr Donald E Schulz

The recent traumatic developments in Mexico caught both the Mexican and U.S. governments, as well as most academic observers, by surprise. Until the Zapatista National Liberation Army burst onto the scene in January 1994, Mexico s future seemed assured. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had just been ratified by the U.S. Congress, and there was a widespread expectation that Mexico would take off economically and would, within the reasonably near future, join the ranks of the developed countries. And while the outlook for democracy seemed more problematic, few questioned the essential stability of the political system. Since then, much has changed. What happened and why are explored by Donald Schulz in an earlier SSI study, Mexico in Crisis. Dr. Schulz goes beyond that preliminary assessment to look at the prospects for democratization, socioeconomic development, political stability, U.S.-Mexican relations, and the national security implications for both countries. His findings are unsettling, and so are some of his policy recommendations, for they cut at the heart of many of the assumptions U.S. and Mexican leaders have made about the effects of current policies and where Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican relationship are headed.