Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy

Dr. Christy Thornton, John Hopkins University

Friday, October 25, 2019 | 10:30 am

Latin American and Iberian Institute

801 Yale Blvd NE (campus building #165)


Join the LAII, Department of History, and the International Studies Institute for a presentation with Dr. Christy Thornton, assistant professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, as she discusses her current manuscript project, “Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy.”

 This talk will uncover the hidden role of politicians, diplomats, and economists from post-revolutionary Mexico in shaping the governance of the global economy. From the 1920s through the 1980s, representatives of the Mexican state intervened repeatedly in negotiations over the creation and reform of the period’s most important international institutions, from the League of Nations and the Pan-American Union to the World Bank and the UN General Assembly. They advocated for an international order that would distribute the returns to global capitalism more equitably, thereby providing capital, access, and expertise that would foster economic development through industrial modernization. In fact, this talk will argue, Mexican offi­cials—always working in cooperation and contest with others in the nascent Third World—not only elaborated the agenda and imagined the organizations of what would come to be known as “international development,” they defined the parameters within which great powers, especially the United States, would engage with that idea.


Friday, Oct. 25 • 1:30 pm • Mesa Vista Hall 1104

Dr. Thornton will present "‘The Solidarity We Demand Is a Condition of Survival’: Mexico, the United States, and the Global Economy in the 1970s.”

 Dr. Christy Thornton is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, where she is a core faculty member for the Latin America in a Globalizing World Initiative, aside from being a­liated with the Program in Latin American Studies. She holds PhD from New York University in 2015. Before graduate school, Dr. Thornton spent five years as the Executive Director of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), a 50-year-old research and advocacy organization. Her research interests include comparative-historical sociology, global inequality and development, labor and social movements, Latin American political economy, and Mexican state formation. Her current manuscript project, Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy, under contract with the University of California Press, uses a case study of post-revolutionary Mexico to reexamine the origins of development as an international project. Using a comparative-historical analysis, the book traces how 20th-century Mexican diplomats, political figures, and economists mobilized the social and economic tenets of the Mexican Revolution to advocate for an international regime of redistributive multilateralism.


This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact