NAFTA's Road to Ruin: The Decline of the Mexican Social Compact, Part II

This is the second of two reports on the decline of Mexico’s “social compact”-—that is, the understanding among citizens and the state that they are bound by ties of mutual support and by networks of social solidarity. Part I examined the threat to the social compact posed by the persistence of impunity—the practice of Mexican politicians, elites, and other social actors to place themselves above or outside the law. Part II focuses on neoliberalism, embodied in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as a socio-political program that has cut back on social protections, removed barriers to the flows of transnational capital, and, most importantly, denied the possibility of a social compact in a world of individuals, all “freely” pursuing their own self-interest.