Mexico has failed to achieve internal security and poses a serious threat to its neighbors. This volume takes us inside the Mexican state to explain the failure there, but also reaches out to assess the impact of Mexico’s security failure beyond its borders. The key innovative idea of the book—security failure—brings these perspectives together on an intermestic level of analysis. It is a view that runs counter to the standard emphasis on the external, trans-national nature of criminal threats to a largely inert state.

Mexico’s Security Failure is both timely, with Mexico much in the news, but also of lasting value. It explains Mexican insecurity in a full-dimensional manner that hasn’t been attempted before. Mexico received much scholarly attention a decade ago with the onset of democratization. Since then, the leading topic has become immigration. However, the security environment compelling many Mexicans to leave has been dramatically understudied. This tightly organized volume begins to correct that gap.

chapter |25 pages


Security Failure Versus State Failure
ByPaul Kenny, Mónica Serrano

part I|59 pages

The Background

chapter 1|25 pages

The Mexican State and Organized Crime

An Unending Story
ByPaul Kenny, Mónica Serrano

chapter 2|32 pages

Transition to Dystopia

ByPaul Kenny, Mónica Serrano

part II|54 pages

Security Failure at Home …

chapter 3|18 pages

Arbitrariness and Inefficiency in the Mexican Criminal Justice System

ByAna Laura Magaloni

chapter 4|15 pages

Accounting for the Unaccountable

The Police in Mexico
ByErnesto López-Portillo

chapter 5|19 pages

Security Versus Human Rights

The Case of Contemporary Mexico
ByAlejandro Anaya Muñoz

part III|87 pages

… and Abroad

chapter 6|18 pages

Drug Trafficking and United States–Mexico Relations

Causes of Conflict
ByJorge Chabat

chapter 7|22 pages

Mexico's War on Terrorism

Rhetoric and Reality
ByAthanasios Hristoulas

chapter 8|14 pages

The Mesoamerican Dilemma

External Insecurity, Internal Vulnerability
ByRaúl Benítez, Arturo Sotomayor

chapter 9|31 pages


Authoritarian Evolution
ByPaul Kenny, Mónica Serrano