• Giulia Sirigu

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis presents a Strategic-Relational (SR) analysis of the processes ofchange and continuity in Mexican foreign policy during the Fox government. In2000, the election of President Fox determined the victory of a new party after71 years of Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) rule, producing thedemocratisation of the country. Domestic and international changes generatedby the end of the Cold War, and the presence of new actors in the Mexicanscenario created momentum for the country, helped also by the introduction ofa new foreign policy paradigm. Despite the significance of these elements, thestudy of their reciprocal influence in foreign policy has been neglected. Thesetransformations and the discrepancy between the discourse of change and itsimplementation are considered an ideal scenario for the study of continuity andchange in foreign policy-making. This research focuses on the application ofJessop and Hay's Strategic-Relational Approach (SRA), considered able togenerate an understanding of this complex process of interaction. However,although the SRA theorises the impact of these interplays in policy-making,scarce consideration has been given to this approach in the study of foreignpolicy change. Therefore, the thesis aims to understand the dynamicsgrounding Fox's foreign policy, employing the SRA to identify those conditionsnecessary for the implementation of change and appreciate how the interplayamong different elements was manifest.After explaining the SRA and its relevance to the study of change in foreignpolicy, the thesis provides a historical framework explaining Mexico's evolutionin the years up to 2000. Building on these chapters, three empirical casestudies presenting different degrees of foreign policy change are then analysedthrough the SRA. They respectively consider Mexico's approach topeacekeeping operations, its participation in the United Nations SecurityCouncil and its refusal to support the Iraq War, and Mexico's internationalapproach to human rights. The thesis compares how, in the presence ofconsistent general conditions, the processes of change and continuity weredifferently implemented. The interplay established among the fundamental SRelements is interpreted as pivotal in every empirical chapter for its capacity toaccount for the complexity of the foreign policy process and the generation ofconcrete change in foreign policy.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGreig Charnock (Supervisor) & Piers Robinson (Supervisor)


  • Foreign Policy
  • Mexico
  • Strategic-Relational Approach
  • Change

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