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Administrative Surveillance and Fear: Implications for U.S.-Mexico Border Relations and Governance

Authors:

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera ,

University of Texas Brownsville, US
About Guadalupe
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera <Guadalupe.CorreaCabrera@utb.edu> is Associate Professor and Chair of the Government Department of the University of Texas at Brownsville. Her areas of expertise are Mexico-U.S. relations, border security, immigration, and organized crime. Her teaching fields include comparative politics, Latin American politics, U.S.-Mexico relations, U.S.-Mexico border policy, comparative public policy and public administration, and American Hispanic politics. Guadalupe’s most recent book is entitled Democracy in ‘Two Mexicos’: Political Institutions in Oaxaca and Nuevo León (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). She has published works in journals such as Latin American Politics and Society, the Journal of Politics in Latin America, Politics & Policy, Policy Studies, the Journal of South Texas, Voices of Mexico, and Norteamérica (CISAN-UNAM). She is now working on a new book entitled ‘Los Zetas Inc.’: A Criminal Transnational Corporation, Mexico’s Energy Sector, and a Modern Civil War. Email2: <gcorrea75@gmail.com>.
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Terence Garrett,

University of Texas Brownsville, US
About Terence
Terence M. Garrett <Terence.Garrett@utb.edu> is Professor and Master of Public Policy & Management Coordinator at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He specializes in public administration theory primarily from phenomenological and critical perspectives. Recent publications are titled (2013) (with Paul Pope) ‘America's Homo Sacer: Examining U.S. Deportation Hearings and the Criminalization of Illegal Immigration’, in Administration & Society, 45(2): 167-186; and, (2014) ‘The Domination of the Market Spectacle and Immigration Policy along the Border’, in the International Journal of Social Economics, 41(1): 32-41.
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Michelle Keck

University of Texas Brownsville, US
About Michelle
Michelle Keck <Michelle.Keck@utb.edu> is an Assistant Professor in Government at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Her research interests include non-governmental organizations and international organizations. She has published work in Contemporary Politics and the Europa International Foundation Directory.
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Abstract

Fear has struck the people along the U.S.-Mexico border. Government authorities of the two nations have implemented techniques to secure the Rio Grande against drug trafficking, immigration, and terrorism. This article explores the issues and policies that have led to the escalation of violence on the U.S.-Mexico border and the ‘politics of fear’. Firstly, Mexican and U.S. governmental authorities are examined in the context of their actions against the various drug cartels. Secondly, the impact of such actions on the nations’ publics is analysed. The authors combine the theoretical conceptions of the ‘media spectacle’ and the politics of fear that create a ‘spectacle of fear’ to explain events in the region. Finally, the authors provide a theoretical interpretation of the politics and administration of security policies regarding the impact of violence in this border region, employing primarily the works of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt, which are central to any discussion of the phenomena of politics and societal violence. Overall, this work seeks to interpret the ‘culture of fear’ forced on citizens and the conflict between power and violence.

Resumen: Vigilancia Administrativa y Miedo: Implicaciones para la Gobernanza y las Relaciones Fronterizas México-Estados Unidos

El miedo ha tomado por sorpresa a la población que habita en la región fronteriza México-Estados Unidos. Las autoridades han implementado acciones para combatir, en ambos lados del Río Bravo, el tráfico de drogas, la migración y el terrorismo. En este artículo se explican las causas de la violencia fronteriza que derivan en la ‘política del miedo’. Primeramente, se analizan las acciones de las autoridades mexicanas y estadounidenses en contra de los denominados cárteles de la droga. En segundo lugar, se evalúa el impacto de dichas acciones sobre la sociedad en ambas naciones. Los autores combinan las nociones teóricas de ‘espectáculo mediático’ y ‘política del miedo’ para analizar el ‘espectáculo del miedo’ y explicar los eventos en la región. Finalmente, hacen una interpretación teórica de la política y políticas de seguridad en su relación con la violencia fronteriza en esta zona, empleando los trabajos de Michel Foucault) y Hannah Arendt, los cuales son centrales en cualquier discusión del fenómeno de la política y la violencia social. En resumen, este trabajo interpreta la ‘cultura del miedo’ y analiza la tensión entre poder y violencia.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9474
How to Cite: Correa-Cabrera, G., Garrett, T., & Keck, M. (2014). Administrative Surveillance and Fear: Implications for U.S.-Mexico Border Relations and Governance. ERLACS, (96), 35–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9474
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Published on 27 Mar 2014.
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