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A theoretical approach : an exploratory analysis of higher level narcotraffickers of Latin American decent

by Garci?a, Marti?n Mera?z.

Abstract (Summary)
By Martín Meráz García, PhD Washington State University December 2007 Chair: Martha L. Cottam President Richard Nixon once declared drugs “public enemy number one.” Since then, several putative wars have been waged against this illusive enemy and numerous studies have been conducted attempting to explain the resilience of this enemy. Additionally, few studies of this nature have taken a theoretical and interdisciplinary approach to analyze and explain the way in which this war has been waged. Most studies conducted on the drug war have taken a top down approach (elitist) to the subject focusing on drug lords and cartels; few studies have been undertaken from the bottom up to determine the reasoning for the endless supply of recruits into the drug trade. Such a bottom up approach is used here along with theories in international relations, political psychology and criminal justice to explore the effectiveness of social learning, social identity, group and image theories in explaining higher level drug trafficking in the American West. This study focuses on the socioeconomic, psychological, cognitive and political characteristics which have prompted individuals to engage in the drug trade, particularly those who are of Mexican or Latin American decent. The study finds the theories used for this study are well suited for the assessment of higher level drug trafficking and their use helps shed light on the human decision-making process involved in becoming involved in the drug trading in contemporary American society. iv
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School:Washington State University

School Location:USA - Washington

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:drug traffic dealers west u s

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