Date of Award:
Master of Arts (MA)
Anti-state criminal violence is a puzzle. Criminal organizations should avoid violent interactions with the state, yet in several countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia there has been widespread anti-state violence orchestrated by organized criminal groups for the past 25 years. Why?
Building on existing literature, I develop a theory with which to explain anti-state criminal violence. I argue that organized crime is more likely to commit anti-state violence when state enforcement agents commit a serious grievance against the local population with whom the criminals share a social identity. I develop this theory using the case of the Michoac√°n Family, later known as the Knights Templar. I find that members of this group identify with their community and frame violence in terms of "defense" of said community. While not exhaustive, this study suggests that group identity is an important factor behind criminal anti-state violence.
Thomas, Tyler S., "Anti-State Criminal Violence as Civil Defense" (2020). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7897.
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