skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 249621 Find in a Library
Title: Mexico, the Failed State Debate, and the Merida Fix
Journal: The Geographical Journal  Dated:November 2015  Pages:n/a-n/a
Author(s): C. Gallaher
Date Published: November 2015
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2011-IJ-CX-0001
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Legislation/Policy Description; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the discourse of ‘shared responsibility’ that the governments of the United States and Mexico created through the 2008 Mérida Initiative.
Abstract: This discourse fixed the terms of a debate that stood in the way of bilateral cooperation, i.e., are Mexico's drug cartels terrorists, and if so is Mexico in danger of failing? Specifically, the discourse does three things. First, it clarifies the formal position of both governments that Mexico's drug cartels are criminals, not insurgents. Second, by using the term ‘transnational criminal organisation’ (TCO) to label the cartels, the United States accepts some responsibility for them. Finally, the discourse establishes a territorial notion of sharing so that United States participation inside Mexico is limited. Although ‘shared responsibility’ has been characterized as a ‘paradigm shift’ in how the two countries deal with one another (Benítez Manaut 2009, Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior 87), this article argues that it reinforces a militarized status quo. By defining ‘shared responsibility’ as an obligation between states, the two countries do not have to articulate a joint responsibility to Mexico's civilians, who bear the brunt of both the cartels and the bilateral fight against them. This framing also helps explain the U.S. Government's muted response to abuses by the Mexican military since the agreement took effect. (Publisher abstract modified)
Main Term(s): International drug law enforcement
Index Term(s): Drug Policy; Drug Trafficking; International agreements; International cooperation; Mexico; NIJ grant-related documents; NIJ Resources; Transnational Crime; Transnational Organized Crime; United States of America
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.