Redefining Mexican "Security": Society, State & Region under NAFTA

By James F. Rochlin | Go to book overview

7

An Analytical Conclusion

Conceptions of national security are social constructions, invented in harmony with the shifting tides of historical epochs. They are reflections of the world order, of regional influences, and of domestic constellations of power. This book has traced the disintegration of the revolutionary nationalist conception of Mexican national security to an emerging discourse that is as much regional and global as it is national in character. This shift has been coincident with the exchange of the myth of the Mexican Revolution for the false promise of insertion into the First World. The former national security framework is buried, but its postmodern replacement will likely remain a construction zone into the next century. The notion of the crisis of authority seems especially fitting in relation to the Mexican situation during this new era. The social consent of the formerly stable hegemonic system has devolved into a bridging period marked by a crisis of identity and the accentuation of repression by a government that lacks legitimacy.


CHALLENGING THE "ALREADY SAID"

If we are riding the crest of a discontinuous jump forward in the course of history, what has been the nature of such change? The centrality of the nation-state has been displaced to an important degree by transnational influences. Traditional conceptions of national sovereignty face their biggest threat since the Peace of Westphalia. Nationalistic views of economy and politics have become antiquated globally. The Mexican concept of revolutionary nationalism, upon which the discourse of national security was based, has disintegrated. Further, globalized production and communications technology have fundamentally altered conceptions of space and time. The national privacy protected under the walls of the previous world order disappeared during the transformation to a transnational village of ultrasurveillance.

The Cold War, in its variety of phases, has given way to a less certain international environment in the strategic sense. The identity of the

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