"Foreign Affairs" LIVE - Development: The Post-Doha Agenda
The Foreign Affairs LIVE series brings together authors, Council members, and friends of the magazine for timely, in-depth discussions on significant global issues. Please join Nancy Birdsall and Susan Schwab for a conversation on the implications of trade policy on international development for this special installment with media partner Devex.
For background reading, please see the following Foreign Affairs articles by Nancy Birdsall and Susan Schwab:
* In The Post-Washington Consensus, coauthored with Francis Fukuyama, Nancy Birdsall explains how developing countries will trade the flexibility associated with a free-market economic model for domestic policies meant to ensure greater resilience in the face of competitive pressures and global economic trauma.
* In After Doha, Susan Schwab argues that the current round of trade talks is probably doomed–but that world leaders can and should still hammer out smaller agreements to lower barriers, protect the environment, and drive development.
By refocusing from more militarized bilateral security assistance to institution building, Mexico and the United States can work together to strengthen the rule of law, to the benefit of both countries.
Under the security cooperation agreement called the Merida Initiative, the United States provides military and law enforcement assistance to the Mexican government in support of efforts to combat drug cartels and organized crime. The United States and Mexico jointly developed this agreement in response to a substantial increase in drug-related criminal activity and violence on both sides of the border.
Across Mexico, the lawlessness and carnage of the drug wars have given rise to scores of local self-defense forces aiming to defend their communities. The federal government may be tempted to disband and disarm these armed vigilantes, but until it can shape up its security sector, the local groups offer an imperfect but acceptable alternative.