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The Mexican drug “war”: an examination into the nature of narcotics linked violence in Mexico, 2006-2012

Parakilas, Jacob Christopher (2013) The Mexican drug “war”: an examination into the nature of narcotics linked violence in Mexico, 2006-2012. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis examines incidences of violence in Mexico related to the trade in illegal narcotics from the election of President Felipe Calderón in late 2006 to the election of his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, in mid-2012. The thesis, which is arranged methodologically as a single case study, begins with an examination of the state of literature on violence, crime and warfare. The theoretical basis is specified by subsequent inquiry into the role of illegal narcotics as a driver of violence, and together, these theoretical chapters form the basis of the hypothesis, that under certain circumstances, the drugs trade can create a market of violence, in which non-political actors are incentivised by their constraints to engage in acts of violence not normally associated with criminals. The next three chapters comprise an empirical examination of the hypothesis – the first on historical inflection points in Mexican history and the US/Mexican relationship along with the geographic and historical challenges, as illustrated by the border region around Ciudad Juarez and the violence in Guatemala, the second on the divergent structures and strategies of selected Mexican drug trafficking organisations as a window into the nature of the overall conflict, and the third on the effects of Mexican and American governmental strategies to control the violence. The thesis concludes that while drug violence in Mexico does have the overall shape of a market of violence, developments toward the end of the period studied give some hope that the constraints will change and markedly reduce the incentive for violence. Policy ramifications and the overall future of drug violence given the uncertain future of prohibition are considered in the conclusion as well.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Jacob Christopher Parakilas
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Coker, Christopher

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