The Political Economy of Foreign Investment in Mexico: Nationalism, Liberalism, Constraints on Choice

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The Political Economy of Foreign Investment in Mexico: Nationalism, Liberalism, Constraints on Choice

By Van R. Whiting, Jr.
John Hopkins University Press, 1992
313 pp. $55.00
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This well-documented study, based on extensive interviews and field research, analyzes why Mexico pursued nationalist policies toward foreign investment through the 1970s, made them more extreme during that decade, and then turned so decisively to economic liberalization in the 1980s, welcoming foreign investment and pushing for free trade with the United States. Whiting's answer, sometimes obscured by social science jargon, is that the same global trends toward industrial integration now pushing the United States toward industrial policy and managed trade have shifted constraints within Mexico toward more liberal and internationalist policies. Free trade with the United States, which threatened Mexico's autonomy only a decade ago, is now in Mexico's interest--even if nationalists in the United States object.