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

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Revolution in Development uncovers the surprising influence of postrevolutionary Mexico on the twentieth century’s most important international economic institutions. Drawing on extensive archival research in Mexico, the United States, and Great Britain, Christy Thornton meticulously traces how Mexican officials repeatedly rallied Third World leaders to campaign for representation in global organizations and redistribution through multilateral institutions.

You can order it directly from UC Press, and using the discount code 17M6662 gets 30 percent off. It’s also available, of course, from, and, and in other weird corners of the internet. The book should be of interest to scholars of development and international finance, international organizations and multilateralism, US foreign relations, and Latin American studies broadly.

What others have said about the book

“Christy Thornton has made a landmark contribution. Focusing on the pivotal case of Mexico and penetrating the condescending discourse of Northern policymakers and diplomats, she compellingly reads the construction of the twentieth century’s great international governing institutions—the League of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, the United Nations—from the outside in, through the optic of the Global South. Her clear-eyed, painstakingly researched analysis of Mexico’s ‘revolution in development’ establishes the nation’s critical constitutive role in the making of US global hegemony, while reconfiguring our understanding of Mexican foreign policy and the ideology and practice of the postrevolutionary state.”

––Gil Joseph, Farnam Professor of History and International Studies, Yale University

“In this book, Christy Thornton guides us through the era when Mexico was assuming an active role in struggles to change the institutional and economic world order per se as a way to advance its nationalist development agenda. She masterfully brings alive the actors and pains and gains of Mexico’s quest to transform key multilateral institutions for a more just system and to remove constraints on its own development process. Academics, students, and policy makers, especially in Mexico, will benefit enormously from this splendidly written, extremely well-documented contribution to the knowledge of Mexican economic history, with an international political economy and institutional building perspective.”

––Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, coauthor of Development and Growth in the Mexican Economy: A Historical Perspective.