ASK THE EXPERTS
ARTURO SARUKHAN CASAMITJANA
Do traditional models of international
relations apply in Latin America?
Modern models that
and state actors are
more relevant today.
Kurt G. Weyland
be the prevalent
Kevin P. Gallagher
We don’t need any
is the ambassador
of Mexico to the
Two trends have and will continue to impact our hemisphere, particularly in Mexico–U.S. relations. First, classic paradigms
of international relations offer little
to comprehend the current dynamics
of Mexico–U. S. relations. Our unique
relationship no longer distinguishes
between domestic politics and international policy issues, nor is it demarcated along those lines. Instead, it is
one that has become—paraphrasing
Bayless Manning’s seminal work in
the 1970s—truly “intermestic” (the
fusion of international and domestic issues) in nature.
In each country, advancing the foreign policy agenda with the other requires addressing domestic politics
and taking on domestic constituencies on the wide range of issues within
each nation: water and the environment; transnational organized crime;
competitiveness and labor mobility;
trade facilitation; and energy efficiency. If we don’t jointly engage in
untying the Gordian knots of domestic politics and constituencies, the bilateral agenda will not gain traction.
Moreover, new actors have broken
the monopoly in the articulation
of foreign policy by our two executive branches—with mayors, governors, trade associations, universities,
NGOs, and social media playing increasingly relevant roles in transborder interaction.
In order to better confront this
paradigm, we have worked to move
away from the traditional navel-gazing,
chest-thumping and Westphalian
reflexes of national sovereignty
toward a relationship based on
principles of co-responsibility and
co-stakeholdership. This represents
a sea change that will allow our
countries to understand that bilateral
cooperation can deliver common
good on both sides.