Alexis, hailing from Mexico, is currently a PhD student in the War Studies Department at King’s College London. His research focuses on the study of Mexico’s strategic culture in the context of the security troubles experienced in his home country during the last decade. As a student of Western grand-strategic thought and the Anglo-American foreign policy tradition, he is also concerned with the study of “middle powers” and their role in the 21st-century world order. On May 2010, Alexis completed his MA in Law at Diplomacy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he focused on the evolution of Mexico’s civil-military relations since the beginning of the so-called war on drugs. Between 2013 and 2016 he served as Joint General Director at Mexico’s National Security Council and as Advisor at the Office of the Foreign Minister of Mexico.
At the mercy of Fortuna: Mexico's strategic dilemmas and the use of force in the context of the fight against organised crime 2006-2016
The purpose of this research project is to assess in historical, strategic and conceptual terms the evolution of Mexico's security environment at the beginning of the 21st century. Its primary focus is the massive increase in armed violence experienced during the last decade (2006-2016) in the context of the fight against organised crime. The project argues that the decision to use the military instrument from December 2006 marked a watershed moment in the evolution of Mexico's security landscape. From then on, the deployment of troops on the ground has aggravated the dimensions of a wicked problem making it even more complex. In order to confront it, Mexico needs a strategic vocabulary that it currently lacks, for it moved towards democracy without making a comprehensive reform of its defence and security architecture. The first section of this project seeks to explain this irregularity in historical terms, placing the evolution of Mexico's strategic culture within the context of the political transformations experienced in the country during the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century. In contrast, the second section seeks to understand the nature of its current strategic landscape, paying attention to the ways in which violence has evolved during the last decade. Finally, the third section focuses on the quest for answers to this scenario of violence. In doing so, it proposes a specific path for the reform of Mexico's defence and security institutions, a precondition needed in order to enable a genuine strategic treatment of the country's national security troubles. Inspired by the Machiavellian tradition of political thought, this project concludes assuming that the success of such a reform path will depend upon the emergence of a certain political moment: one guided by the art of political innovation and the resolve to exert the governance of the future.
Civil-military relations, counterinsurgency, geopolitics, grand strategy, intellectual history, international security, organised crime, political violence
John Bew, Professor in History and Foreign Policy
John Gearson, Professor of National Security Studies