Shirk, David A. 1971–

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Shirk, David A. 1971–


Born 1971. Education: Lock Haven University, B.A., 1993; University of California-San Diego, M.A., 1995, Ph.D., 2000.


Office—Trans-Border Institute, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, educator. University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, assistant professor of political science and director of Trans-Border Institute, 2003—. Has also taught at University of California—San Diego, California State University—San Marcos, Instituto Autónomo de México, and Soka University of America.


International Studies Association, American Political Science Association, Latin American Studies Association, Association of Borderland Studies, San Diego World Affairs Council.


American Political Science Association minority fellow, 1993-94; National Science Foundation minority fellow, 1993-95; University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States grant, 1996-97; Presidential Scholar, University of California—San Diego, 1997-98; Teaching Excellence Award, University of California—San Diego, 1997-98; predoctoral Fellow, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 1998-99; Hewlett Foundation grants, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 2002-05; postdoctoral Fellow, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 2002-04; Tinker Foundation Grant, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 2003-04; University of San Diego internationalization grant, 2004-05; University of San Diego faculty research grant, 2004-06; Hewlett Foundation Grant, Trans-Border Institute, 2005-08.


Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change, Lynne Rienner (Boulder, CO), 2005.

(Editor, with Wayne A. Cornelius) Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Subnational Politics and Democratization in Mexico, edited by Wayne A. Cornelius, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (La Jolla, CA), 1999; and Party Politics and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico: National and State-Level Analyses of the Partido Acción Nacional, edited by Kevin J. Middlebrook, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (La Jolla, CA), 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Borderlands Studies, Journal of Democracy,San Diego Union-Tribune, Reforma, and Borderlines.


David A. Shirk, who teaches at the University of San Diego, writes widely about U.S.-Mexican relations, public security issues on the U.S.-Mexican border, and Mexican politics. Shirk also serves as the director of the Trans-Border Institute, an educational resource that promotes a variety of activities and initiatives designed to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border relationship.

In his 2005 title Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change, Shirk presents a history of Mexico's National Action Party (PAN). Founded in 1939, the conservative party stood in opposition to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), though it fared poorly in national elections until the 1990s. In 2000 Vicente Fox, the PAN candidate for president, garnered a historic victory, ending more than seventy years of one-party rule. In the words of Latin American Politics and Society contributor Kenneth F. Greene, Mexico's New Politics "is a broad treatment of the PAN as an organization, in the electorate, and in government. But it also delivers more than promised: as Shirk describes the party's history and struggles, he presents a surprisingly complete and extremely clear description of the old system under the PRI and Mexico's democratization process." One of the strengths of the work, Green noted, "is Shirk's fabulous writing. The text reads with the comfort and assured knowledge of a seasoned academic and comes as close to a page-turner as one can hope for in the social science of political parties." The critic added that Shirk "distills theoretical issues into digestible nuggets, and he paints vivid portraits of the individuals and situations that make for dynamic intraparty politics."



Americas, July, 2005, Chappell Lawson, review of Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change, p. 141.

Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2005, Richard Feinberg, review of Mexico's New Politics, p. 144; January-February, 2008, Richard Feinberg, review of Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico, p. 187.

Latin American Politics and Society, spring, 2006, Kenneth F. Greene, review of Mexico's New Politics, p. 208.


David A. Shirk Home Page, (May 10, 2008).

University of San Diego Web site, (May 10, 2008), biography of David A. Shirk.