Austerity, debt-relations, and social infrastructure: the contested reproduction of uneven development in Ciudad Juárez
Funding period: 1 September 2022 – 31 August 2025
Type of funding: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Dr Nina Ebner is a USF Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Colegio de México’s Centro de Estudios Demográficos Urbanos y Ambientales (CEDUA). Her research engages how the construction of gendered and racialized difference shapes the de/valuation of labor and place as constitutive of capitalism’s uneven development. Nina’s doctoral project, ‘Lives on the Line: The Remaking of Uneven Development on the United States-Mexico Border,’ explores how the hidden costs of post-crisis “recovery” in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands are unevenly absorbed by households and communities. Her research program builds on this agenda, examining the impact of fiscal austerity policies leveraged by the current Mexican administration, and the long-term debt relations that underpin them, on workers in Ciudad Juárez, a city that has remained at the forefront of Mexico’s export processing industry. Nina considers how the financialization and financing of infrastructural development—including social welfare programming—in this context potentially works to reinscribe both the labor devaluation and forms of disinvestment that have long underpinned the city’s participation in a restructuring global economy, while also documenting the collective practices that sustain urban life, in a context of long-term economic precarity.