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  • Department of Global Development

Seminar in Critical Development Studies hosted by Cornell Global Development and the Graduate Field of Development Sociology

Seminar abstract:

In this seminar, Christy Thornton will discuss her new book Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy (UC Press, 2021), which uncovers the surprising influence of post-revolutionary Mexico on the twentieth century’s most important international economic institutions, from the League of Nations to the World Bank and IMF. Drawing on extensive archival research in Mexico, the United States, and Great Britain, the book traces how, for more than five decades, Mexican officials repeatedly rallied Third World leaders to campaign for representation in global organizations and redistribution through multilateral institutions. In contrast to scholarship largely written from US and European perspectives, the book demonstrates how Mexican economists, diplomats, and politicians shaped not only their own domestic economic prospects but also the contours of the project of international development itself. Against the conventional wisdom that the project of international development originated with Truman-era programs in the United States, Revolution in Development demonstrates that, in important ways, the political impetus for development and for the organizations created to promote it came from the demands of Mexico and its allies in Latin America and beyond.

About the speaker:

Christy Thornton is an assistant professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she serves as a core faculty member for the Latin America in a Globalizing World initiative. She received her PhD from NYU in 2015, and was previously a fellow at the Weatherhead Initiative for Global History at Harvard University. Her first book, Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy, was published with the University of California Press in January 2021.

Date & Time

November 19, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Christy Thorton headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Jenny Goldstein, Assistant professor, Cornell University

  • goldstein [at]


Department of Global Development

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