Dr. Suárez-Potts is a legal historian. His first book, The Making of Law, traced the development of labor law in Mexico from the 1870s through 1931, and explained how liberal, legal doctrines and practices changed or persisted in relation to the consolidation of an authoritarian, modernizing regime in the late nineteenth century, the revolutionary civil war of 1910-20, and subsequent social reforms. Dr. Suárez-Potts’s second book project is about the evolution of legal practices and beliefs in Mexico since its formation as an independent state in the nineteenth century. The book will examine how elites endeavored to consolidate their power through the establishment of a viable state and the generation of greater wealth in the face of domestic and foreign challenges.

Dr. Suárez-Potts teaches courses in the areas of interest mentioned above. He is also affiliated with the program Politics, Law and Social Thought.

Selected Publications:

  • “The Ambiguity of Labor Justice in Mexico, 1907-1931,” in Leon Fink and Juan Manuel Palacio, eds., Labor Justice across the Americas (University of Illinois Press, 2018);
  • “La Constitución de 1917 y la Ley Federal del Trabajo de 1931,” in Gerardo Esquivel, Francisco Ibarra Palafox, and Pedro Salazar Ugarte, eds., Cien Ensayos para el Centenario. Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, vol. 3 (UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, and Instituto de Belisario Domínguez, 2017);
  • “La Interpretación Judicial del Artículo 123 Constitucional, 1917-1934,” Revista del Centro de Estudios Constitucionales 3, no. 4 (January – June, 2017);
  • “El Derecho del Trabajo y la Revolución de 1910,” in Laura Rojas and Susan Deeds, eds., México a la Luz de Sus Revoluciones, vol. 2 (El Colegio de México, 2014);
  • The Making of Law: The Supreme Court and Labor Legislation in Mexico, 1875-1931 (Stanford University Press, 2012);
  • “The Railroad Strike of 1927: Labor and Law after the Mexican Revolution,” Labor History 52, no. 4 (November 2011): 399-416;
  • “The Mexican Supreme Court and the Juntas de Conciliación y Arbitraje, 1917-1924: the Judicialisation of Labour Relations after the Revolution,” Journal of Latin American Studies 41 (November 2009): 723-755.

Research Areas

Legal History, Labor History, History of Capitalism, Latin American History, Mexican History


Ph.D., Harvard University

M.A., Harvard University

J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School

B.A., University of California, Berkeley


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