Associated Professor of Public Service, NYU Wagner; Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, NYU Faculty of Arts and Science
Jorge Castañeda is a renowned public intellectual, political scientist, and prolific writer, with an interest in Latin American politics, comparative politics and U.S.-Latin American relations. He was Foreign Minister of Mexico from 2000 to 2003, and in that position he focused on diverse issues in U.S.-Mexican relations, including migration, trade, security, and narcotics control; joint diplomatic initiatives on the part of Latin American nations; and the promotion of Mexican economic and trade relations globally.
Castañeda was a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1985-87), and was a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research and Writing Grant Recipient (1989-1991). He is a member of the Board of Human Rights Watch, and since 2003 has hosted “Voices of Latin American Leaders” at NYU, a series of conversations with prominent politicians, intellectuals, and businesspeople from the region such as Ernesto Zedillo, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Carlos Slim, Gustavo Cisneros, and Carlos Fuentes.
Among his many books are Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left after the Cold War (1993); The Mexican Shock (1995); Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara (1997); Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen (2000); Somos Muchos: Ideas para el mañana (Planeta Editores, Mexico City, 2004); La diferencia: Radiografía de un sexenio (with Rubén Aguilar, 2007); Y Mexico Por Que No? (2008); and Ex-Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants (2008). He has taught at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM), Princeton and UC Berkeley.
From the massive nationwide rally in support of immigrant rights in May 2006 to protests against the increasingly frequent immigration raids across the country, the public debate on immigration reform has largely centered on Mexican immigrants. Yet, in the United States, we rarely hear the Mexican perspective on the issue.
In “portraits that defy American stereotypes of who is a Mexican immigrant” (Booklist), former Mexican foreign minister and eminent scholar Jorge G. Castañeda describes just who makes up the newest generation of immigrants from Mexico, why they have chosen to live in the United States, where they work, and what they ultimately hope to achieve. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience, Casteñeda examines the century-long historical background behind the labor exchange between Mexico and the United States, while offering an insider’s account of the official conversations and secret negotiations between the two countries in recent years.
Both authoritative and timely, Ex Mex is essential reading for all who want to make sense of the complex issue of immigration.
Jorge Castañeda, who served as Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, has been both an insider and an outsider in Mexico’s political system. In Perpetuating Power, he lays bare the often mystifying workings of power in Mexico, offering readers what the New York Times Book Review called “an unusually revealing explication of the inner workings of three decades of presidential succession.”
To outside observers, Mexico stood out for its odd mixture of democratic pretension with autocratic inevitability: there were always elections, but everyone knew the next president would be the candidate of the aptly named Party of the Institutional Revolution, which governed Mexico throughout most of the last century.
In six penetrating essays combined with interviews by Castañeda with each of the living Mexican ex-presidents, Perpetuating Power provides a remarkably candid account of the political machinery behind Mexican presidential politics and a view, startling to political outsiders, of how power really operates.