Mexico Seminar: Contested Urban Resilience: Mexico City and Global Law


Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

For a recording of this event, please click here.

Speaker: Alejandro Rodiles, Professor of Law, ITAM

Discussant: Enrique R. Silva, Director of International Initiatives, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Moderated by: Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Cities have recently become key players in global regulation. This is particularly clear in the case of the multi-dimensional resilience measures of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which cut across areas ranging from climate change to security. Taking Mexico City as an example, Rodiles will analyze the extent to which global urban governance might contribute to a safe, sustainable, and inclusive city, and critically inquire into the contradictions and perils of urban resilience-driven responses to global challenges.

Alejandro Rodiles is Professor of International Law and Global Governance at ITAM School of Law, in Mexico City. He has lectured and held research fellowships at the Law Faculty of Humboldt University, Berlin; Mexico’s National Autonomous University Faculty of Law; El Colegio de México; and Freie University Berlin. Since July 2021, he is an affiliated professor at New York University’s Institute for International Law and Justice. His book Coalitions of the Willing and International Law: The Interplay between Formality and Informality (Cambridge University Press, 2018) was awarded the 2019 Book Prize of the European Society of International Law. His most recent publications deal with the role of cities in contemporary development law and in global security law. Rodiles has served as a diplomat at Mexico’s Mission to the United Nations (2009-2010) and a delegate to the UN Security Council. He holds a law degree from UNAM, completed postgraduate studies in German, European, and international law at Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, and obtained a Ph.D. in law (summa cum laude) at Humboldt University Berlin.

Enrique R. Silva is Director of International Initiatives at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Silva collaborates on the development and management of initiatives that focus on a range of themes from land-based fiscal instruments to the fiscal and land policy dimensions of large-scale urban projects to planning regimes and climate change adaptation.  He leads a portfolio of projects and initiatives in Africa, and assists in the development and management of projects on land policy and urbanization in Latin America. Prior to his arrival at the Lincoln Institute, Silva was an assistant professor of city planning and urban affairs at Boston University. He holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in Planning from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University.


Diane E. Davis is the Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Trained as a sociologist, Davis’s research interests include the relations between urbanization and national development, comparative urban governance, socio-spatial practice in conflict cities, urban violence, and new territorial manifestations of sovereignty. Her books include Transforming Urban Transport (co-edited, 2018); Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Conflicts in the Urban Realm (2011); Discipline and Development: Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America (2004); Irregular Armed Forces and their Role in Politics and State Formation (co-edited, 2003); and Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century (1994).

See also: Virtual, Mexico