Abstract: Mexico and the ''Multinational Dilemma'' in the 1970s: Views from the Global Periphery

Alex Gertschen


The paper deals with the international debate about multinational enterprises in the 1970s that was marked by a conflict line running between First World and Third World countries. More specifically, by means of the Third World country Mexico, the paper analyzes Mexican businessmen's and scholars' views on the conflictive issue, and compares them with views expressed by scholars from North America and Western Europe. One conclusion is that one should investigate the debate about multinational enterprises also considering the credibility attributed to government regulation in Western capitalism. In the 1970s, from a Mexican perspective, not only the First World countries and private business, but also the government severely lacked legitimacy. Another conclusion is that the debate has to be studied in the light of earlier debates about foreign capital, especially in Latin American countries that had been confronted with the conflicting interests of preserving political sovereignty and achieving economic development since the nineteenth century.