Encountering Knowledge Production: The International Crisis Group and the Making of Mexico's Security Crisis
Markus Hochmüller, Markus-Michael Müller – 2014
After nearly seven years of ever-escalating violence related to the Mexican ‘war on drugs’, in 2013 Mexico entered the International Crisis Group’s (icg) ‘observatory’ of countries facing a violent crisis. In this article we critically interrogate this ‘Mexican turn’ of the icg, as well as its accompanying forms of crisis knowledge production. By applying analytical insights from critical policy analysis and postcolonial security studies, we highlight the Western-centrism embedded in the icg’s perspective on Mexico’s security crisis. In analysing this perspective on questions of drug trafficking, statehood and indigenous justice, we demonstrate how this Western-centrism produces a de-politicising and overly technocratic crisis narrative. The article concludes that, through its Western-centric ‘Mexican turn’, the icg has been able to reaffirm its standing as a uniquely influential and internationally recognised crisis expert by showcasing its awareness of newly emerging crisis situations, as well as its possession of the necessary crisis-solving expertise.