Date of Award:

8-2020

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)

Department:

Political Science

Committee Chair(s)

Laura Gamboa-Gutierrez

Committee

Laura Gamboa-Gutierrez

Committee

Anna Pechenkina

Committee

James Sanders

Abstract

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.

Checksum

58473792cf32132a65499ab1791f34e3

Share

COinS