The Mexico Security Initiative is a new research program at the Strauss Center, launched in 2014.

The problem of high-intensity violence and political disruption in Mexico connected to transnational drug-trafficking organizations remains among the most pressing and difficult policy challenges on the map. It is a national security dilemma of the first order for Mexico itself, but it also has significant security, economic, cultural, and foreign-relations implications for the United States and other neighboring states. Unfortunately, the "cartel violence" question has not always received attention from scholars and policymakers that is commensurate with the scale and significance of the issues. The Mexico Security Initiative is an effort to address that gap, spurring sophisticated inquiry into the causes, dimensions, and consequences of the violence as well as the adequacy of past, present, and potential policy responses at both the national and international levels.

Projected activities include a sequence of interdisciplinary conferences, an edited volume of policy-focused scholarship, periodic short-form policy papers, and a multi-author online forum for tracking and analyzing key developments.




  • Cartel Violence in Mexico: Assessing the Mexican Government's Responses (Cesar Martinez, 2016-2017)