Post-Revolutionary Cultural Diplomacy in the Mexico-United States Relationship During the 1920s


The main international variable needed to understand Mexican foreign policy is its proximity to the United States. The entry into effect of Mexico’s 1917 Constitution presented a particular-ly difficult scenario in that relationship in the 1920s. The general aim of this article is to deter-mine whether the argument that Mexico used cultural diplomacy successfully to contain tensions with the United States and facilitate bilateral negotiations should be accepted or discarded. Performing an exhaustive review of historical literature and a deep dive into archives using the theories of constructive and liberal institutional international relations, the authors begin by analyzing Mexico’s cultural diplomacy strategies. They continue by studying the concrete actions carried out for disseminating Mexican culture in the United States. They then evaluate the application of these cultural diplomacy strategies, identifying significant changes in impor-tant U.S. actors’ attitudes toward Mexico as well as the increased cooperation between the two countries. Their conclusion is that Mexican cultural diplomacy was a useful foreign policy in-strument for reducing tensions with the United States and facilitating negotiations between the two countries.

Author Biographies

José María Sierra Arellano

José María Sierra Arellano has been an Assistant Researcher at the International Studies Division of CIDE since 2018, where he works on the areas of international relations, diplomacy, and foreign policy, especially Mexican cultural diplomacy in historical perspective in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from CIDE, and is currentely a member of the Community Affairs area of the Mexican General Consulate in Chicago.

Jorge A. Schiavon, CIDE

Jorge A. Schiavon is Professor of International Relations at the International Studies Department, CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) since 1999. He has been Chair of the International Studies Department (2007-2010), Secretary General (Vice-Rector) of CIDE (2004-2007) and President of the Mexican International Studies Association (AMEI in Spanish) (2011-2013). He has published over 200 academic products on international relations and foreign policy, of which 25 are academic books. He is member of the National Researchers System (SNI) in Mexico, level II. He holds a B.A. in International Relations (El Colegio de México), and a M.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs (University of California, San Diego, UCSD).

How to Cite
Sierra Arellano, J., & Schiavon, J. (2022). Post-Revolutionary Cultural Diplomacy in the Mexico-United States Relationship During the 1920s. Norteamérica, Revista Académica Del CISAN-UNAM, 17(1).