Free Trade: Informal Economies at the U.S.-Mexico Border
by Kathleen Staudt
Temple University Press, 1998
eISBN: 978-1-4399-0547-0 | Paper: 978-1-56639-568-7 | Cloth: 978-1-56639-567-0
Library of Congress Classification HD2346.U52M497 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 338.09721

In the aspiring global cities of  Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, people generate income and develop their housing informally on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Staudt analyzes women and men in low- and middle-income neighborhoods in the core an in the old and new peripheries of two cities that straddle an international border.

Residents counter national and  international influences to build shelter and incomes, albeit meager. But the political machinery of both the U.S. and Mexico constrains the ability of these quintessential free traders to build political communities and organize around self-sufficient work and housing in visible ways.

Experiences at the border, along the central gateway for capital, job, and labor movement, offer insights to readers as the globalized economy spreads and engulfs the heartlands of both the U.S. and Mexico. People’s everyday victories in countering petty regulations can counter or feed the grand global hegemonies.
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