Binational Commons

Institutional Development and Governance on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Tony Payan (Editor), Pamela L Cruz (Editor)
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Studying institutional development is not only about empowering communities to withstand political buccaneering; it is also about generating effective and democratic governance so that all members of a community can enjoy the benefits of social life. In the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, cross-border governance draws only sporadic—and even erratic—attention, primarily in times of crises, when governance mechanisms can no longer provide even moderately adequate solutions.

This volume addresses the most pertinent binational issues and how they are dealt with by both countries. In this important and timely volume, experts tackle the important problem of cross-border governance by an examination of formal and informal institutions, networks, processes, and mechanisms. Contributors also discuss various social, political, and economic actors and agencies that make up the increasingly complex governance space that is the U.S.-Mexico border.

Binational Commons focuses on whether the institutions that presently govern the U.S.-Mexico transborder space are effective in providing solutions to difficult binational problems as they manifest themselves in the borderlands. Critical for policy-making now and into the future, this volume addresses key binational issues. It explores where there are strong levels of institutional governance development, where it is failing, how governance mechanisms have evolved over time, and what can be done to improve it to meet the needs of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the next decades.

Silvia M. Chavez-Baray
Kimberly Collins
Irasema Coronado
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera
Pamela L. Cruz
Adrián Duhalt
James Gerber
Manuel A. Gutiérrez
Víctor Daniel Jurado Flores
Evan D. McCormick
Jorge Eduardo Mendoza Cota
Miriam S. Monroy
Eva M. Moya
Stephen Mumme
Tony Payan
Carla Pederzini Villarreal
Sergio Peña
Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira
Cecilia Sarabia Ríos
Kathleen Staudt


Introduction: Governing the Binational Commons
Tony Payan and Pamela L. Cruz

1. Place and Space Governance at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1944–2017)
Sergio Peña
2. Defining the Border and the Borderlands: A Precondition for Institutional Development?
Tony Payan and Pamela L. Cruz
3. Data for U.S.-Mexico Border Studies: A Comparison of U.S. and Mexican Data Collection and Distribution
James Gerber and Jorge Eduardo Mendoza Cota

4. Collaborative Social Networks: An Exploratory Study of the U.S.-Mexico Border
Víctor Daniel Jurado Flores and Cecilia Sarabia Ríos
5. Governing the Borderlands Commons: Local Actors at Work
Manuel A. Gutiérrez and Kathleen Staudt
6. Environmental Governance at the U.S.-Mexico Border: Institutions at Risk
Irasema Coronado and Stephen Mumme
7. Health Institutions at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Eva M. Moya, Silvia M. Chavez-Baray, and Miriam S. Monroy
8. From the Institutional to the Informal: Security Cooperation Between the United States and Mexico
Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira
9. U.S.-Mexico Law Enforcement and Border Security Cooperation: An Institutional-Historical Perspective
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Evan D. McCormick
10. Transportation Institutions Along the U.S.-Mexico Border
Kimberly Collins
11. Human Mobility at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Tony Payan, Pamela L. Cruz, and Carla Pederzini Villarreal
12. Governance and Energy Trade on the U.S.-Mexico Border
Adrián Duhalt
Conclusion: Uneven Institutional Development and Governance at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Tony Payan


 “This excellent book addresses border governance institutions and documents how dynamic events have outgrown institutional capabilities for governance. Exceptional chapters on institutions and governance that address transportation, data generation, planning, energy, health, security, the environment, and other areas of the border reality make this book essential reading for border students, researchers, and practitioners.”—Paul Ganster, author of The U.S.-Mexican Border Today: Conflict and Cooperation in Historical Perspective

“This book confirms that institutional coordination and integration remain underdeveloped at the United States–Mexico border and that this lack of alignment has resulted in governance problems and challenges in an era of twenty-first-century securitization, neonationalism, and populism.”—Victor Konrad, co-author of Beyond Walls: Re-inventing the Canada–United States Borderlands
Binational Commons
424 Pages 6 x 9 x 0.9454
Published: October 2020Paperback ISBN: 9780816541058
Published: October 2020Ebook ISBN: 9780816542017

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