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During the long 1970s, the so-called Mexican Miracle came to an end. After more than two decades of outstanding economic growth and social transformations, it has been argued that a combination of economic populism and eccentric decisions in the foreign policy field carried out by Mexican governments ended Mexico’s rush to modernity. The 1982 debt crisis represented both the climax of such a crisis and the evidence of the fallacy of the political and economic decisions taken during the period running from 1970 to 1982. This presentation will try to offer a different take on the crisis of the Mexican Miracle. In particular, it will retrace the critical overlapping of both domestic and external shocks which marked the late 1960s-early 1970s and which, for the first time since the consolidation of the Mexican postrevolutionary political regime, seemed to jeopardize its stability. Focusing on the early 1970s, the talk will then address the response given by the Mexican political elite to the multiple crises affecting the country. The policies designed to tackle such a critical scenario were not as eccentric as it has been sometimes assumed. Eccentricity was more a consequence of the complexity of the scenario which the PRI’s political elite faced, than of its own reply to the several crises affecting the country.

Vanni Pettinà is Associate Professor of History of the Americas at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and for ten years was Professor of Latin American History at the Center for Historical Studies of El Colegio de México. He is the author of Historia Mínima de la Guerra Fría (El Colegio de México, 2018), published in English with UNC Press in 2022, and co-editor, with Stella Krepp and Thomas Field, of Latin America and the Global Cold War (UNC Press, 2021). He is currently working on a book project tentatively titled From Bilateralism to Globalism. Development and Foreign Policy during Mexico’s Cold War.

All welcome – This event is free, but booking is required.

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