Pamela Starr

Professor of the Practice of Political Science and International Relations
Pamela Starr
Email Office STOL 99 Office Phone (213) 740-4122

Research & Practice Areas

Mexican Politics and Foreign Policy; US-Mexican Relations; Public Diplomacy in the Americas; Comparative Political Economy of Latin America

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Center on Public Diplomacy, University Fellow
  • Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Global Fellow
  • Pacific Council on International Policy, Adjunct Fellow


Dr. Pamela K. Starr is a a professor of the practice in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and in the Public Diplomacy program.  She is also a university fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. 

Dr. Starr came to USC from the Eurasia Group, one of the world’s leading global political risk advisory and consulting firms, where she was senior analyst responsible for Mexico. Prior to that, she spent eight years in Mexico as a professor of Latin American political economy at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), a private university in Mexico City.

Dr. Starr is an active speaker, commentator, and author on Mexican politics, economics and foreign policy, and on economic reform and policy making in Latin America. She is the author of articles and policy reports on Mexico and US-Mexico Relations, and is currently writing a book on Mexico and U.S.-Mexico relations. 

Starr has also worked as a consultant to investment banks and securities firms, and is currently Senior Adviser at Monarch Global Strategies.  She has briefed officials American and Mexican officials on the bilateral relationship, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade, as well as ambassadors, diplomats, intelligence officials, legislators and staffers from both countries. 

Dr. Starr’s research and writing focus on three main topics: U.S.-Mexico relations, the politics, economy and foreign policy of contemporary Mexico, and the politics of economic policy-making across Latin America. In a series of books and book chapters, peer-review journal articles and policy-oriented publications, Dr. Starr has  illuminated the interplay between political and economic developments in shaping economic policy in Mexico and Latin America.

On the basis of this research, Dr. Starr has given talks throughout the hemisphere to a wide range of audiences, including the World Economic Forum, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank, the US Department of State, the US Embassy in Mexico City, the US State Legislative Leaders Foundation, the Mexican legislature and the Ecuadorian Central Bank.

Dr. Starr is a Global Fellow at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  She is also an associate of the Inter-American Dialogue and a member of the Latin American Studies Association.  She has previously held research positions in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil and in at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. 

She has received grants and fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Earhart Foundation, the Organization of American States and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

After receiving her PhD from the University of Southern California in 1993, Dr. Starr worked as a visiting assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles before moving to ITAM in 1997.


  • Ph.D. International Relations, University of Southern California, 1993
  • M.A. Latin American Studies, Tulane University, 1983
  • B.A. Political Science, California State University, Northridge, 1982
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Assistant Professor , ITAM , 08/01/1997 – 06/30/2005

    Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Adjunct Fellow for Mexico and U.S.-Mexico Affairs, Pacific Council on International Policy, 2008-02-20-

    Other Employment

    • Latin America Analyst , Eurasia Group , 07/01/2006-08/03/2007
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    My research is focused on my fascination with Mexico – its politics, economic policy, and relationship with the United States. I have published on Mexican political economy, written op-eds on current policy, and briefed policy makers on Mexico matters for over 30 years. This knowledge is currently being distilled into a book designed to explain Mexico to foreign audiences, and especially students. It will be published by Polity, estimated to appear in 2025.

    Research Specialties

    Mexican Politics and Foreign Policy; US-Mexican Relations; Public Diplomacy in the Americas; Comparative Political Economy of Latin America

  • Book

    • Starr, Pamela K and Oxhorn, Philip (Ed.). (1999). Markets and Democracy in Latin America: Conflict or Convergence?. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

    Book Chapters

    • Starr, P. K. (2010). U.S.-Mexican Relations and Mexican Domestic Politics. Oxford Handbook on Mexican Politics New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    • Starr, P. K. (2005). Mexican Foreign Policy”. In Laura Randall, ed. The Changing Structure of Mexico: Political, Social and Economic Prospects, 2nd edition. pp. 49-57. Armonk, NY: M.E.Sharpe.
    • Starr, P. K. (2005). Pax Americana in Latin America: The Hegemony behind Free Trade”. In Jorge I. Dominguez and Byung-Kook Kim, eds. Between Compliance and Conflict: East Asia, Latin America, and the “New” Pax Americana. pp. 77-109. New York and London: Routledge.
    • Starr, P. K., David, A. (2003). El interludio Castañeda y el sueño de América del Norte, In Rafael Fernández de Castro, ed. En la Frontera del Imperio: México en el Mundo 2003. Mexico, DF: Planeta.
    • Starr, P. K. (2002). Dollarization in Mexico: Does It Make Sense and Is It Likely?” In Carl A. Cira and Elisa N. Gallo, eds. Dollarization and Latin America: Quick Cure or Bad Medicine?. Miami, FL: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University.
    • Starr, P. K. (1999). The Politics of Exchange Rate Management in Mexico and Argentina, 1994-1995″, in P. Oxhorn and P. Starr, eds. Markets and Democracy in Latin America: Conflict or Convergence?. pp. 203-238. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
    • Starr, P. K. (1999). International Financial Institutions in Latin America”, in Jorge Dominguez, ed. The Future of Interamerican Relations. pp. 131-152. New York and London: Routledge.

    Book Review

    • Starr, P. K. (2009). The Political Economy of Reform in Latin America: Politics, Institutions, Ideas, and Context. Latin American Research Review. pp. 224-234.

    Journal Article

    • Starr, P. K. (2009). Neither Populism nor the Rule of Law: The Future of Market Reform in Mexico. Law and Business Review of the Americas. Vol. 15 (1 (2009)), pp. 127-151.
    • Starr, P. K. (2001). Pesos for Dollars? The Political Economy of Dollarization in Latin America. The Brazilian Journal of Political Economy. Vol. 21 (1), pp. 62-77.
    • Starr, P. K. (1999). Monetary Mismanagement and Inadvertent Democratization in Technocratic Mexico. Studies in Comparative International Development. Vol. 33 (4), pp. 35-65.
    • Starr, P. K. (1997). Government Coalitions and the Viability of Currency Boards: Argentina Under the Cavallo Plan. Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. Vol. 39 (2), pp. 50.


    • Starr, P. K. (2009). Mexico and the United States 2009: A Window of Opportunity?. Pacific Council on International Policy.
    • Starr, P. K. (2006). Challenges for a Post-Election Mexico: Issues for US Policy. Council on Foreign Relations.


    • Starr, P. K. (2008). Mexico Under Calderon: Prospects for the Bi-Lateral Relationship. 5. pp. 7-12. Washington, DC. Aspen Institute.
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Director, U.S.-Mexico Network, 2011-2012
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