William Arrocha

Assistant Professor

I am passionate about the struggle for human rights and social justice.

What excites me about being a professor at MIIS is teaching such a multi-cultural, multi-lingual and socially committed student body. I also enjoy the inter-disciplinary nature of our programs and the fact that I can teach content courses in multiple languages. I am fluent in Spanish and French and teach in both languages.

The subjects that I am passionate about and teach with much enthusiasm are global politics, development theories and practices, migration, human rights and security, the challenges of managing U.S.-Mexico relations and the ever more complex U.S.-Latin American migration issues. At present, my research focus is on migration issues in the Americas and their intersection between development, human security and human rights.

My previous work experience, which I am always eager to share with students, includes: having the honor of directing the International Trade Policy Studies program at MIIS, consulting for the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). I also had the rare opportunity to be a member of the roster pertaining to NAFTA’s Chapter 19 Panelists and an Assistant Panelist for several Bi-national Panels Pursuant to the Provisions of Article 1904 of the NAFTA. When writing my doctoral thesis I worked as the Assistant Coordinator for Queen’s University’s Studies in National and International Development (Canada). Years back, I also had the privilege of being the Political Analyst and Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City; Chief of Advisors for the Under-Secretary for General Planning and Management, Mexican Secretariat of Commerce and Industrial Development (SECOFI); and Economic, Political and Development Consultant for Mitsubishi Corp. and Tokyo Marine Ltd.

My research has been published in the Journal of Intercultural Disciplines, The California Western Law Review, The Journal of Hate Studies, Nuestras Voces Latinas, The National Autonomous University of Mexico Press (UNAM), The Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, North Western journal of International Affairs, Mesoámerica, Libros de FLASCO, Santiago de Chile, and Revista de Relaciones Internacionales, UNAM, México.


International political economy, international relations, comparative politics (U.S., Canada, Latin America and Mexico), migration studies, human rights, human security and trade policy.


PhD, International Relations, MA, International Relations, Queens University, Canada; Advanced Diploma in Canadian and United States Studies, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México; BA, International Relations, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.


William Arrocha (2013). Criminalization of Undocumented Workers and Labor: Increasing Fear and Exploitability within the Latino Community. Journal of Interdisciplinary Disciplines, Vol. XII, Fall 2013. pp. 107-126.

William Arrocha (2012). From Arizona’s S.B.1070 to Georgia’s H.B.87 and Alabama’s H.B 56: Exacerbating the Other and Generating New Discourse and Practices of Segregation. California Western Law Review, Vol. 48, No.2. pp. 245-278. 

William Arrocha. La Reforma Actual de los Estados Unidos ¿Una negación social y económica o la creación de nuevas formas de segregación en nombre del excepcionalísimo americano? Ivonne Solano Chávez (Coordinadora)Migrantes Somos y en el camino andamos: Ensayos sobre identidad, migración y cultura transfronteriza. Secretaria de Cultura de Michoacán y Ediciones Eón, 2011.

William Arrocha (2010). Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070: Targeting the Other and Generating Discourses and Practices of Discrimination and Hate. Journal of Hate Studies, Vol. 9, No 1, pp. 65-92.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

IPOL 8525 - Trade Laws & Institutions      

This course will provide students with an introduction to the main multilateral and international rules, regimes and organizations governing trade and investment relations. By understanding the principles of international law and why governments have established regimes, intergovernmental organizations and adhered to their legal principles, students will gain a thorough appreciation of the important role these organizations, rules and regimes play in shaping and determining the flow of international trade and investment. The students will acquire knowledge on how these regimes and organizations govern relations among states, how they function, the roles of member governments and secretariat officials, how decisions are made and their consequences and how disputes are resolved. As a result, students should be able to identify how and why an international organization or regime 'can contribute to the resolution of specific problems faced by governments, firms, or NGOs as a result of international trade and investment.

Spring 2011 - MIIS

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IPSG 8505 / IPOL 8505 - Global Politics      

The course introduces students to key analytical concepts and normative views such as balance of power, unipolarity, multipolarity, unilateralism, multilateralism, etc., and major theoretical perspectives for analysis of international politics, as well as the major international events of the past century that have shaped the international system. Students will learn ways that international actors, including sovereign states and non-state entities such as multinational corporations, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations, exercise power to pursue goals and influence international outcomes. Students will also learn how international institutions, norms, and structures of governance affect the exercise of power and other forms of influence and shape international outcomes. Students will also be introduced to some contemporary issues of national, international, and human security, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism, as well as issues of globalization, food security, the plight of the LDC’s, and human rights.

Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

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IPSG 8506 - Politics of Development      

This course introduces students to the politics of development, its contemporary debates, agencies and issue-areas. Development is a contested concept and practice that originates from the exercise of power, which is at the core of politics. Governments, International Organizations (IO), Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), and other social actors within Civil Society, have kept alive and thriving the debate on the best development practices that can better the lives of billions of individuals. It is a debate that takes place at multiple spatial and socio-political contexts, within and beyond the institutions of the state, yet its concrete outcomes are located within the boundaries of a specific state, or group of states. It is often assumed that states and societies share common development goals, this is far from being the case, as the key ideas, agencies and practices of development are shaped within domestic and international political systems where political and economic power are far from being distributed equally. Such unequal distribution of power is even greater between states with different levels, or models, of development. Today the economic and political gains from the dominant model of development are also far from being distributed equally. For these reasons it is fundamental that future practitioners recognize the limits and reaches of development models, as these are intricately related to how political power is conceptualized, exercised and distributed through a wide range of social contexts at domestic and international levels.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

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IPSG 8529 / IPOL 8529 - Dev Theory & Practice      

This course introduces students to the field of International Development and its subfields (including the theories, major debates, practices, and professional opportunities). The first section covers economic, sociological and political theories of development with sensitivity to the historical context. The second section discusses specific development issues such as the theory and practice of development assistance, democratization, human rights, and governance, community development, gender, environment, poverty, human security and education. Students hear guest lectures from MIIS faculty who teach in the development subfields. In the third section, students work in teams and focus on a particular developing country and research different aspects of its development and present their findings in class. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the field, and give them a chance to begin narrowing down their own interests.

Spring 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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IPSG 8589 / IPOL 8589 - ImigrtnIssueUS-LatAm:inSpanish      

Migration issues between the US and Latin America, particularly between the US and Mexico, are of such magnitude that they cannot be overseen. Through an inter-disciplinary approach, students will explore the causes of such massive migration as well as its security, development and political impacts. Finally, we will explore and discuss the potential policies that can help manage such pressing issues.

Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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IPSG 8628 / IPOL 8628 - Sem:IntlMigratn,Scurty&HumRgts      

In the context of a more integrated yet unequal global economic system, of growing international and national security concerns, humanitarian crises and skill shortages, migration and immigration have become central to economic, political and social debates. This seminar is meant to engage in these debates by studying the intricate links between the ever increasing flows of peoples across borders; the national and international security dilemmas facing states and regions; and the urgent need to fully implement and redefine the international and domestic laws pertaining to Human Rights.

Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

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IPSG 8645 - Sem: U.S. Immigration Policy      

This course introduce students to the complexities and challenges of US immigration policies with a particular focus on the changes that occurred since the last major reforms of 1996 under President Clinton, the tragic events of 9/11, and the present debates for a new overhaul of the immigration system. The United States was created by successive waves of immigrants, including forced migration in the form of slavery. From its territorial expansion in the mid-nineteenth century, followed by its industrialization and further economic expansion overseas that was consolidated after WW II, the US has always depended on large waves of immigrants, legal or undocumented. Ironically, after every massive wave of immigrants, the descendants of those who preceded them always saw those who followed with suspicion. Today the US is still in need of immigrants, yet it is going through one of its most polarized collective debate on who should be granted the opportunity to become a citizen, and enjoy the freedoms and liberties that come with such status, and who should be excluded while maintaining their labor. Such debate needs to be studied by any future policy expert dealing with migration and development as well as human security.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

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IPSG 8647 / IPOL 8647 - Sem:US Mexico Relations      

The United States and Mexico share one of the longest borders in the world; they also have one of the most complex bilateral relationships yet, it is one that is not always understood and explored adequately. In this seminar students will be exposed to the key historical events that have shaped the present relationship. They will explore the similarities and differences of a relationship that makes it one of the toughest to manage. Students will explore the key aspects that make up a bilateral agenda that can be considered one of the most challenging in international policy: An uneasy past, constant immigration pressures, drug trafficking, trade issues, environmental problems and new security challenges. For more insights into this course please see the US-Mexico Relations Seminar website.

Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

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SPLA 8489 - Immigratn Issues US-Latin Amer      

Migration issues between the US and Latin America, particularly between the US and Mexico, are of such magnitude that they cannot be overseen. Through an inter-disciplinary approach, students will explore the causes of such massive migration as well as its security, development and political impacts. Finally, we will explore and discuss the potential policies that can help manage such pressing issues.

Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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