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Making Peace in Drug Wars
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. A Theory of Cartel-State Conflict: 2. What is cartel-state conflict?; 3. Logics of violence in cartel-state conflict; 4. Modeling violent corruption and lobbying; Part II. Case Studies: 5. Colombia: conditionality to contain a killer; 6. Rio de Janeiro: conditionality, one favela at a time; 7. Mexico: conditionality abandoned; Part III. Conditional Repression as Outcome: 8. The challenge of implementing conditionality; 9. Explaining reform efforts' success: key factors and alternative hypotheses; 10. The challenge of sustaining conditionality; 11. Conclusion.

Promotional Information

State crackdowns on drug cartels often backfire, producing entrenched 'cartel-state conflict'; deterrence approaches have curbed violence but proven fragile. This book explains why.

About the Author

Benjamin Lessing studies criminal conflict - organized armed violence involving non-state actors who do not seek formal state power. Prior to beginning graduate work at University of California, Berkeley in 2005, Lessing lived in Rio de Janeiro for five years, conducting field research on arms trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean for international organizations including Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Viva Rio, Brazil's largest NGO. He was a Fulbright Grantee in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. His Ph.D. dissertation, the basis of Making Peace in Drug Wars, was awarded the 2012 UNODC/INEGI Best Dissertation Prize. He has received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. He is a contributor at The Monkey Cage, the Brookings Institution, the Inter-American Dialogue, among others.

Reviews

'Why does large-scale, organized criminal violence escalate in some places and times but not others? And why do states sometimes succeed in repressing drug-trafficking cartels but often fail, triggering an explosion in violence? Plowing into uncharted terrain, this fascinating and extremely readable book offers a convincing account of the multifaceted interactions between states and cartels. Combining sophisticated analysis with captivating, on-the-ground research, Making Peace in Drug Wars sets the agenda in a new and highly relevant area of inquiry. This is easily the best book I have read this year, a great achievement.' Stathis N. Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence, Yale University
'Everywhere you look in Latin America you see struggles between drug gangs and the state. This brilliant book shows how it can be brought within the corpus of comparative politics. A new direction for the field.' James A. Robinson, Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor, University of Chicago
'Conditional repression' isn't as exciting a slogan as 'End the drug war!' But, adopted as policy, it could save thousands of lives. Benjamin Lessing makes a convincing case. Let's hope some people in power pay attention.' Mark Kleiman, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University
'In this ambitious study, Lessing argues that governments cannot successfully pursue the three interconnected goals of combating narcotics trafficking, eliminating official corruption, and reducing drug-related violence all at the same time.' Richard Feinberg, Foreign Affairs
'This book indeed hits the nail on the head on how violence is produced by the incentives of the drug wars and prohibition laws and how this violence is greatly amplified by state actions and policies.' Miguel A. Cabanas, Rutgers
'Why does large-scale, organized criminal violence escalate in some places and times but not others? And why do states sometimes succeed in repressing drug-trafficking cartels but often fail, triggering an explosion in violence? Plowing into uncharted terrain, this fascinating and extremely readable book offers a convincing account of the multifaceted interactions between states and cartels. Combining sophisticated analysis with captivating, on-the-ground research, Making Peace in Drug Wars sets the agenda in a new and highly relevant area of inquiry. This is easily the best book I have read this year, a great achievement.' Stathis N. Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence, Yale University
'Everywhere you look in Latin America you see struggles between drug gangs and the state. This brilliant book shows how it can be brought within the corpus of comparative politics. A new direction for the field.' James A. Robinson, Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor, University of Chicago
'Conditional repression' isn't as exciting a slogan as 'End the drug war!' But, adopted as policy, it could save thousands of lives. Benjamin Lessing makes a convincing case. Let's hope some people in power pay attention.' Mark Kleiman, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University
'In this ambitious study, Lessing argues that governments cannot successfully pursue the three interconnected goals of combating narcotics trafficking, eliminating official corruption, and reducing drug-related violence all at the same time.' Richard Feinberg, Foreign Affairs
'This book indeed hits the nail on the head on how violence is produced by the incentives of the drug wars and prohibition laws and how this violence is greatly amplified by state actions and policies.' Miguel A. Cabanas, Rutgers

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