Associate Professor, Political Science and International Relations
Director, Trans-Border Institute
David A. Shirk, PhD, joined the University of San Diego in July 2003. Shirk’s teaching covers a wide range of subject areas, mainly concentrated in comparative politics, international political economy, Latin American studies, and U.S.-Latin American relations, with a concentration in Mexico and border politics. He conducts research on Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexican relations, and law enforcement and security along the U.S.-Mexican border. Shirk also directs the Trans-Border Institute, which works to promote greater analysis and understanding of Mexico, U.S.-Mexico relations, and the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego; Political Science
B.A., Lock Haven University, International Studies
Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow, 2008-2009
Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies Fellow, 1998-1999; 2001-2003
Ralph Bunche Scholar, 1992
Scholarly and Creative Work
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. Recent publications by Shirk include Contemporary Mexican Politics (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2008) co-authored with Emily Edmonds-Poli; Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007) edited with Wayne Cornelius; Evaluating Accountability and Transparency in Mexico: National, Local, and Comparative Perspectives (Trans-Border Institute, 2007) edited with Alejandra Ríos Cásares; "Migration and Development," TBI Border Brief (October 2006); "Law Enforcement Challenges and 'Smart Borders'," in Homeland Security: Protecting America's Targets (Praeger, 2006); Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change (Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2005), “Slavery Without Borders: Human Trafficking in the U.S.-Mexican Context,” CSIS Hemisphere Focus, January 23, 2004.
Shirk’s teaching spanned a wide range of subject areas, including graduate and undergraduate courses on comparative politics, international relations, U.S. politics, border politics and policy, race and ethnic politics, international political economy, rule of law, NAFTA politics, Latin American politics, and Mexican politics. In addition to regular advising duties, Shirk has supervised several students with independent study projects and honors theses on arms trafficking, drug trafficking, foreign development aid, foreign direct investment, immigration, human capital formation, rule of law, and violent crime. Shirk maintains a website with a variety of teaching materials and student aids at: http://web.me.com/davidashirk/ShirkHome/Teaching/Teaching.html