Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Bruce M. Bagley

Second Committee Member

Ambler Moss

Third Committee Member

William C. Smith

Fourth Committee Member

María Laura Gómez Mera


Mexico’s traditional role in the illegal drug trade has primarily been as a local producer and exporter of marijuana and heroin for the U.S. market, but, since the mid 1980’s, Mexico has become an increasingly popular transshipment point for South American cocaine. Thus Drug trafficking, has had insidious effects on U.S.-Mexican relations. By and large there has been no clear trend underlying the ways in which Mexico and the United States have related to one another on the issue of the drug trade. There have been periods marked by cooperative initiatives, as there have been periods when the U.S. has dominated the relationship and in so doing determined the anti-drug efforts by both countries. While most scholars tend to study drug policy in Mexico in terms of a US policy byproduct this dissertation suggests that drug policy in Mexico is a intermestic game. Thus -and contrary to conventional wisdom- this research hypothesizes that nowadays Mexican drug policy is not only shaped by U.S. power but by convergent interests, perceptions and identities -socially constructed- by the governing elites in each country. This dissertation draws on the main theoretical approaches to International Relations and Comparative Politics, and despite the fact that it is a case study, it aims to provide a sufficiently abstract explanation to understand drug policy in different settings.


Drugs; Drug Policy; Drugtrafficking; Security, Mexico