The Paradox of Unilateralism: Institutionalizing Failure In U.S.-Mexican Drug Strategies

  • Simon Reich Rutgers University
  • Mark Aspinwall cide, University of Edinburgh
Keywords: drugs, autonomy, institutionalism, unilateralism, bilateralism, strangulation strategies, United States, Mexico

Abstract

Realism posits that strong states use compulsory power to influence the behavior of weaker ones. If true, then U.S. policy toward Mexico on a key national security issue such as drugs should illustrate that claim and policy outcomes should reflect U.S. preferences. Yet, in exploring a series of bilateral case studies, this article suggests that unilateral U.S. government initiatives do not achieve their specified goals. Rather, we argue that Mexico effectively employs a series of “strangulation strategies.” These derail U.S. initiatives and –under specific conditions– result in institutional agreements that proscribe certain forms of behavior and reduce future U.S. autonomy.

Published
2013-12-01
How to Cite
Reich, S., & Aspinwall, M. (2013). The Paradox of Unilateralism: Institutionalizing Failure In U.S.-Mexican Drug Strategies. Norteamérica, Revista Académica Del CISAN-UNAM, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.20999/nam.2013.b001
Section
ESSAYS