Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

U.S. Congressional Research Service on Mexico

The Congressional Research Service works out of the Library of Congress for Congressional committees, individual members, and staffers. CRS reports are valued as thorough and non-political. They're also not often available to the public.

Ken Halla, who teaches in Virginia, located Clare Ribando Seelke's report on "Mexico and the 112th Congress," written on January 29, 2013. It's available as a .pdf document at the Federation of American Scientists web site.

For the purposes of comparative government and politics, the first 9 pages are a great backgrounder. Except for being more up to date, I don't know how the information compares with what's in the textbook you're using. I haven't gone through my collection of texts to read all the Mexico chapters.

However, the last 32 pages of the report are not only about the concerns of the USA, they are described exclusively from a U.S. perspective. As such their value for comparative politics is limited.

Contents of Mexico and the 112th Congress
Check out the introduction, compare it to the textbook your students are reading, and see what value it has to you and them.

Mexico and the 112th Congress is the report Ken Halla found. It's a .pdf download.

A CRS report from a couple weeks earlier in January 2013 is an analysis (again from a US perspective) of ‪Mexico's New Administration. It will probably be valuable to you and your students. Although events in Mexico in 2013 are unlikely to be direct topics of exam questions, examples from this year could easily be used to offer support for free responses your students write.

You might find another CRS report at the FAS site more directly useful. Check out Mexico's 2012 Elections. It's dated September 2012. These are also .pdf downloads.

If you and your students are doing research on specific topics related to Mexico, a search for Mexico on the FAS web site might lead them and you to valuable information. Many of the documents are CRS reports.

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