Wilson Center Experts
Dr. David A. Shirk is the Director of the Trans-Border Institute and Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of San Diego. Dr. Shirk received his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, and was a fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies from 1998-99 and 2001-2003. He conducts research on Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexican relations, and law enforcement and security along the U.S.-Mexican border. Dr. Shirk is the principal investigator for the Justice in Mexico project (www.justiceinmexico.org), a bi-national research initiative on criminal justice and the rule of law in Mexico funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Tinker Foundation. Recent publications by Dr. Shirk include Police and Public Security in Mexico, co-edited with Robert Donnelly (Trans-Border Institute, 2009), Contemporary Mexican Politics, co-authored with Emily Edmonds-Poli (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2008); Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico, co-edited with Wayne Cornelius (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007); Evaluating Accountability and Transparency in Mexico: National, Local, and Comparative Perspectives, co-edited with Alejandra Ríos Cásares (Trans-Border Institute, 2007); "Law Enforcement Challenges and ‘Smart Borders'," in Homeland Security: Protecting America's Targets (Praeger, 2006); and Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change (Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2005). He has been a fellow at the Center for U.S. Mexican Studies at the University of California-San Diego (1998-1999; 2003-2005).
B.A., International Studies, Lock Haven University; M.A., Political Science, University of California-San Diego; Ph.D., Political Science, University of California-San Diego
Director, Trans-Border Institute, University of San Diego, 2003-present
Faculty, Department of Political Science, University of San Diego, 2003-present
Project Coordinator, Project on Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 2002-2005
Regional: Latin America, Mexico, U.S.-Mexico border region; Law enforcement and security; judicial reform; democratization and party politics, immigration and border issues
The un-rule of law is one of the most pressing problems in Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico relationship. As a fellow, I plan to write a book drawing on new research on rule of law issues in Mexico and the border region. This book will examine Mexico's current policy security and rule of law challenges, with special attention to the country's 2009 justice sector reforms. My work will build on an unprecedented survey of professionals in the Mexican justice sector, a major study of justice sector spending and accountability, interviews and qualitative studies, monitoring of Mexico's news sources, and a wide range of justice system indicators.
- Police and Public Security in Mexico, co-edited with Robert Donnelly (2009)
- Contemporary Mexican Politics, co-authored with Emily Edmonds-Poli (2008)
- Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico, co-edited with Wayne Cornelius (2007)