Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


International Relations


Dan Maliniak

Committee Members

Amy Oakes

Richard Turits


Explores the emergence of self-defense forces as a third front in Mexico’s drug war. Argues the geographic location of these groups is best predicted by indigenous marginalization and thick social capital. Mexico’s indigenous communities enjoy a de facto autonomy of neglect from the federal state. These communities exercise social bonds in order to ensure their cultural survival. These bonds have been reinforced throughout history, from the Mexican Revolution to the Zapatista Uprising. Under conditions of weakening state institutions and rising cartel extortion/brutality, indigenous communities were the best suited to overcome collective action problems and respond proactively to local violence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

On-Campus Access Only