Mexico Seminar: The Local and the Territorial in Mexican National Politics


Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6:00pm to 7:15pm

For a recording of this event, please click here.

Speakers: Sergio Aguayo, Professor of International Studies, El Colegio de México; Visiting Scholar, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University; María Marván, Researcher and Academic Secretary, Institute for Juridical Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Moderated by: Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Join two prominent observers of Mexican politics to discuss the recent midterm elections—the first since the 1920s in which local legislative and mayoral reelection has been allowed. Panelists not only discuss the implications of these electoral reforms for local and state-level governance. They also examine these developments in a territorial context where pervasive violence, the pandemic, and shifts in support for the ruling and traditional parties hold the potential to impact national governing strategies. Emphasis will be given to these dynamics in Mexico City, the largest electoral constituency in the country.

Sergio Aguayo is Professor of International Studies at El Colegio de México, where he leads the Seminar on Violence and Peace, a prominent national forum, and a Visiting Scholar at the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is a public intellectual whose commentary on Mexican politics appears regularly in the country’s most prominent newspapers and TV channels. He is primarily concerned with the roots of violence in Mexico and long-term solutions. At Harvard, he has taught courses on the human consequences of structural violence in Latin America and the public health and human rights’ dimension of drug and arm trafficking-related violence. He is the author of over twenty books. He holds Ph.D. and master’s degrees in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. degree, also in International Relations, from El Colegio de México.

María Marván Laborde is currently Researcher and Academic Secretary at the Institute for Juridical Research at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. She served as Consejera Electoral of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute from 2011 to 2019. Previously, she served as Commissioner of the Federal Institute of Access to Public Information, from 2002 to 2011, and as Chief Commissioner during the 2002-06 period. She was also a Professor of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Guadalajara, from 1994 to 2002. Her research interests include election law, open government law, and political institutions and representation. She holds Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Sociology from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Sociology from Mexico’s National Autonomous 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