Christy Thornton

Christy Thornton

Assistant Professor

PhD, New York University

Mergenthaler 521
On Leave - Fall 2020

I joined the Hopkins faculty in 2017, and spent a year as a fellow at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard University. At Hopkins, I serve as a core faculty member for the Latin America in a Globalizing World Initiative, and am affiliated with the Program in Latin American Studies. I was previously an assistant professor of history and international studies at Rowan University, having received my PhD from New York University in 2015. I also hold a BA from Barnard College and Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. Before graduate school, I was for five years the Executive Director of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), a 50-year-old research and advocacy organization. My research interests include comparative-historical sociology, global inequality and development, labor and social movements, Latin American political economy, and Mexican state formation.

My 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. The book argues that this Mexican advocacy had a profound impact on the creation and reform of international development institutions, as well as on how planners in the United States understood and executed the development project. This project therefore argues for the need to move beyond frameworks of diffusionist modernization or dependent development to retheorize the emergence of development from the Global South.

In addition, I am also working on a theorization of the links between neoliberalism, democracy, and the drug trade in contemporary Mexico, and have begun research for an incorporating comparison of the relations between and within the state and left movements in Mexico and Chile in the 1970s.

 “A Mexican International Economic Order? Tracing the Hidden Roots of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States,” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 9:3 (Winter 2018). 

 “‘Mexico Has the Theories’: Latin America and the Invention of Development in the 1930s,” in The Development Century: A Global History, Stephen Macekura and Erez Manela, eds. (New York: Cambridge, 2018).

“Voice and Vote for the Weaker Nations: Mexico’s Bretton Woods,” in Bretton Woods: Global Perspectives on the Conference and the Post-War World Order, G. Scott-Smith and J. Simon Rofe, eds. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).


Audio: AMLO Shatters Mexican Establishment The Dig Podcast, July 8, 2018

Audio: AMLO and the State of Mexico w/ Christy Thornton, Majority Report Radio, July 5, 2018

Audio: Who is Mexico’s New President? Radio Times, WHYY 90.9 FM Philadelphia, July 5, 2018

“AMLO and the State of Mexico​​​,” NACLA, July 3, 2018

Audio: López Obrador Moves from Promises to Policy, Marketplace PRI, July 3, 2018

Video: Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador Wins Mexican Presidential Election in Landslide Victory, Democracy Now, July 2, 2018

Video: Mexicans Head to the Polls, Interview with CNN’s Camila Bernal, June 28, 2018

Ricky Ochoa-Kaup,”Challenging the status quo in Mexico,” The World Weekly, June 28, 2018.

Emir Olivares Alonso, Académicos e investigadores participarán como observadores electorales, La Jornada, June 28, 2018

Audio: Current Events: What’s Happening in Mexico?, A Correction Podcast, June 19, 2018

Audio: AMLO and Mexico’s July Elections with Christy Thornton, Behind the News, KPFA 94.1 FM, Berkeley, May 10, 2018

Audio: The Mexican Elections with Christy Thornton, WPFW 89.3 FM, Washington DC, April 27, 2018

Audio: Discussing the Mexican Elections w/ Professor Christy Thornton Hopkins Podcast on Foreign Affairs, March 18, 2018

Audio: Is Mexico About to Elect a Leftist President? w/ Christy Thornton Majority Report Radio, March 14, 2018

Arturo Sánchez Jiménez, “El autoritarismo, amenaza a un eventual cambio real en el gobierno: académicos,” La Jornada, February 16, 2018

Jorge Nuño Jiménez, “Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional: ¿La Carta o la Guerra?”El Universal, November 21, 2017

In Mexico, Solidarity Versus the State,” NACLA, September 23, 2017

Audio: Christy Thornton: Confronting the Neoliberal Narco-State in Mexico, The Dig (podcast), August 8, 2017

Mexico’s Ruling Party is in Free Fall,” Washington Post, July 27, 2017

An Empire Upside Down,” Dollars & Sense, (cover story) July/August 2017

Estado de México: Grietas en la fortaleza,”Aristegui Noticias, Mexico, June 7, 2017

Cracks in the Fortress,” NACLA, (co-published with Jacobin) June 6, 2017

Ending U.S. Support for Mexican Repression Starts at Home,” NACLA Report on the Americas, December 2016

Unraveling Drug War Capitalism,” Introduction to NACLA Report forum, July 2016

Peña Nieto’s Strategy of Denial is Undermining His Promises,” Al Jazeera America, September 26, 2015

Obama’s Support for Mexico Prioritizes Investors over Citizens,Al Jazeera America, January 13, 2015

Pressure Mexico to Respect Human Rights,” New York Times Room For Debate, December 2, 2014

White House Silence on Mexico Protests Speaks Volumes,” Al Jazeera America, November 20, 2014

Mexican Mass Graves Point to the Failure of National Reforms,” Al Jazeera America, October 11, 2014

“How the Mexican Drug Trade Thrives on Free Trade,” with Adam Goodman, The Nation, July 9, 2014.