A post-structuralist approach to national identity after the Cold War : the case of Mexico
Despite recognition of the centrality of nationalism for International Relations, there has been comparatively little research from the perspective of this discipline on the way national identities are transformed through time, and on the effect these changes can have in relations among states. Thus the focus of this work on the transformation of Mexican identity in the context of the relation between Mexico and the United States after the end of the Cold War and within the framework of economic integration through NAFTA. The main argument throughout this work is that the meaning of national identity is made through an interaction with the Other, interpreted by means of two sets of discourses: on the one hand, there are those discourses on ethnicity, religion and language that seek to construct a unity out of the people inhabiting a given territory, mainly by pointing out how they are different from those outside territorial boundaries. And on the other, there are the discourses on world politics, which reify the national state as the legitimate political unit of allegiance and construct 'classificatory frameworks' and narratives which shape their interactions. Given the historical link between cinema and national identity, contending representations of the national identity put forward in recent films, both from Hollywood and from Mexico, are analysed to trace the way this process has been forged discursively in the Mexican case, and to assess the degree to which alternative narratives have become successful or failed to hegemonise a new meaning for the national identity.