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Mexico’s Future: In Search of a New Democratic Equilibrium

WHAT: Two-day symposium on Mexico’s future featuring experts discussing social, political, and economic challenges. Sets tone for upcoming 20th anniversary of NAFTA ratification, and recently announced trip for President Obama to meet with Pena-Nieto.

WHEN: April 1: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm; April 2: 9:30 am – 4:45 pm.

WHERE: American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, DC. 20016
April 1, Butler Board Room, Butler Pavilion; April 2, School of International Service, Abramson Family Founders Room (SIS Building located at intersection of New Mexico and Nebraska Aves., NW)

WHO:  Experts from American University, Harvard University, Columbia University, UNAM (Mexico), Congressional Research Service, Center for International Policy, Woodrow Wilson Center, World Bank, and Middle Tennessee State University.

Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2013) – American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Institute for Legal Research are hosting a two-day symposium discussing Mexico’s future and relations with the United States. Experts from the United States and Mexico will discuss challenges in four panels focused respectively on Mexico’s New Equilibrium (April 1); Public Institutions and Accountability; Development, Inequality, and Growth; and The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations.

Among the featured panelists are: Max Paul Friedman, American University; Robert Pastor, American University; Luis Felipe Lopez Calva, World Bank; Edgardo Buscaglia, Columbia
University/UNAM, John M. Ackerman,UNAM; and Clare Seelke, Congressional Research

Note: The event is being live webcast at: www.american/edu/clals

The agenda for the panels are below:

April 1
6:00– 7:30 pm Envisioning a New Equilibrium
Panel to address: How should Pena Nieto’s first four months be evaluated? Is Mexico now a consolidated democracy? Do authoritarian enclaves undermine democracy’s advance? Has Mexico reached a point of “hybrid” equilibrium or is it still in a state of flux or perhaps in political regression?

Panelists:  John M. Ackerman, IIJ-UNAM
Francisco González, Johns Hopkins University
Héctor Díaz-Polanco, CIESAS-DF
Max Paul Friedman, American University
Moderator: Eric Hershberg

April, 2
9:30 – 11:15 am Public Institutions & Accountability
Panel to address: What are the central causes or corruption and lack of accountability in Mexico? What public policies or social actions could move Mexico to more transparency and independent institutions? What is the evaluation of the proposals on the issue in the context of the “Pact of Mexico”?

Panelists:  Edgardo Buscaglia, Columbia University / UNAM
Irma E. Sandoval, IIS-UNAM
Diane Davis, Harvard University
Stephen Morris, MTSU
Moderator: Todd Eisenstadt

11:30 am – 1:15 pm Development, Inequality And Growth
Panel to address: Are we witnessing the benefits of technological upgrading & innovation or is Mexico merely competing on the basis of low cost labor and proximity to the U.S.? Discussion and debate over prospects for growth under Pena Nieto, poverty reduction, addressing inequality, and comparing programs/scorecard to other countries within the Western Hemisphere.

Panelists:  Luis Felipe López Calva, World Bank
Duncan Wood, Woodrow Wilson Center
Robert Blecker, American University
Eugenia Correa, IIE- UNAM
Moderator: Eric Hershberg

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm The Future Of U.S.-Mexico Relations
Panel to address: How does the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship affect the well-being and security of
Mexican and U.S. citizens? What is missing from the relationship and should be given more emphasis looking forward? How might Mexico influence and be affected by new legislation in the U.S. aimed at
addressing immigration, drug legalization, and stricter gun control? How will Mexico’s success or failures in grappling with its major domestic challenges define the contours of its ties with the U.S. in the coming years?

Panelists:  Robert Pastor, American University
Laura Carlsen, Center For International Policy
Clare Seelke, Congressional Research Service
Imer B. Flores, IIJ-UNAM
Moderator: Louis Goodman


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.