Conflicting Global Economic Imaginaries: US Foreign Policy towards Mexico & the New International Economic Order, 1977–81
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The North-South Dialogue was a series of international deliberations from 1973-82 in which Northern and Southern states debated the rearrangement of global economic governance. The Dialogue has recently been rediscovered by historians as a crucial moment in the present neoliberal order’s creation, a time when imagining new ways of global organisation appeared possible. The historical literature has only lately begun dealing with how this possibility became scuttled between 1975 and 1981. This scholarship has however largely neglected to assess how bilateral relations between Northern and Southern states were affected by this process, thereby not depicting the Dialogue’s true significance. The following thesis begins to do this by examining how the North-South Dialogue shaped the Carter administration’s foreign policy towards Mexico. This is done through a digital archival research method and the application of the antipreneur theory. It is found that the Dialogue moulded the Carter administration’s foreign policy towards Mexico by pushing Washington to offer monetary services and technological goods to Mexico City, by driving it to directly convince its southern neighbour of its global economic governance norms, and by propelling it to attempt to move Mexico into particular enterprises to shift the terms of the North-South Dialogue. However, it is also shown that Mexico’s tremendous size and proximity created other extraneous interests in the White House which simultaneously also motivated much of the above to different extents. This signifies that although the Dialogue was important to bilateral policy in this instance, that importance varied from measure-to-measure.