This paper provides an account of the strategies of extortion and co-optation used by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) toward civil society in Mexico. Drawing on the civil war and mafia crime literatures, our theoretical approach focuses on levels of territorial contestation among armed actors, as well as state capture by DTOs, to explain variation in co-opting or coercing civil society. Through the use of list experiments in a nationally representative survey, the paper measures extortion and assistance by DTOs in Mexico. We find that the effect of territorial contestation among rival DTOs has two effects. The effect on extortion is non-linear: highly contested places and non-contested places, controlled by a single DTO, show significantly less extortion than moderately contested places. The effect on assistance is negative: DTOs provide assistance mostly in non-contested places. Additionally, using areas of governance by the former ruling party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), as a proxy for state capture by DTOs, we find that both DTO and police extortion is higher in municipalities where the state has been captured. These results suggest that territorial contestation and state capture are important in determining the choice of tactics toward civil society during drug wars.
This paper examines why governments in underdeveloped countries systematically pursue policies that prevent long-term economic growth. Focusing on the design and implementation of Mexico's massive land redistribution program, we argue that governments do so to improve their chances of political survival. Mexico’s incumbent PRI regime gave peasants communal property under a restrictive and inefficient property rights regime. This form of land reform created dependence upon the regime for survival. We find empirical support for this hypothesis using data from a panel of Mexican states from 1917-1992. Land distribution was higher during election years and where the threat of rural unrest was greater. We also show that economic growth and modernization eroded PRI support over the long term, and, further, that PRI support eroded more slowly in states receiving greater levels of land. Inefficient land redistribution therefore served the PRI’s electoral interests, generating a loyal political clientele; and it contributed to political stability. Nonetheless, this policy carried steep costs: land reform substantially depressed long-term economic growth. These findings hold across various model specifications and instrumental variables estimation.
When Mexican President Felipe Caldrón took office in December 2006 he declared a war on the nation’s drug traffic organizations (Ríos and Shirk, 2011). Violence escalated as criminal organizations became increasingly fragmented and disputed their territories (Killebrew and Bernal, 2010; Beittel, 2011). The main strategy followed by the federal government involved capturing leaders and lieutenants of criminal organizations (Calderón et al. forthcoming). This seemed to provoke even more violence, by making the competition over territorial control fiercer and providing incentives for many gangs to make extortion and protection fees (derecho de piso) an additional source of revenue (Guerrero-Gutiérrez, 2010). Given the absence of legal (and peaceful) rules and enforcement mechanisms for competitors in the illegal drug market, disagreements were usually solved violently. Under the pressure of the crackdown by the federal police, the navy and the army, contracts among criminal gangs were often disrupted, leading to even more violence.1 Competition over the strategic routes towards the market in the United States was settled by literally eliminating rivals (Dell, 2012).
This chapter explores the connection between police distrust, corruption and extortion. Despite the difficulty in measuring these phenomena through conventional public opinion polls and citizen or firm level surveys, much can be learned from the variation across geographic units in reported victimization and corruption. We use a list experiment collected through the Survey on Public Safety and Governance in Mexico (SPSGM), to study the practices of extortion by both police forces and criminal organizations.4 Using a Bayesian spatial estimation method, we provide a mapping of the geographic distribution of police extortion.
Traditional community rules are formally recognized in multiple constitutions across Latin America. Scholars debate the extent to which these practices conform to broader principles of gender equality. A unique institutional feature in the impoverished state of Oaxaca, Mexico, divides municipalities into traditional and party-based governance. We exploit this feature with original survey data and find that rates of female participation in traditional communities are not different when compared to non-traditional ones. We also conduct a survey experiment to explore how perceptions about female leadership change with factual information about female mayors. We find the strongest demonstration effect on women recipient of the conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades. Our evidence suggests overall that traditional governance is not a relevant dimension to understand female disempowerment, and that entrenched discriminatory practices against women (which exist but are not inherent to traditional rule) are sensitive to community bargains and well-designed policy.
This paper provides an account of the strategies of extortion and co-optation used by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) toward civil society in Mexico. Drawing on the civil war and mafia crime literatures, our theoretical approach focuses on levels of territorial contestation among armed actors, as well as state capture by DTOs, to explain variation in co-opting or coercing civil society.
Karen Del Biondo
Postdoctoral Scholar at CDDRL, 2012-2013;
Postdoctoral Fellow, KFG Transformative Power of Europe,
Free University of Berlin, 2013-2014
This paper investigates under which conditions the EU and the US take a political or developmental approach to democracy assistance. It aims to find out whether the approach differs among the relevant sources of democracy assistance: the European Development Fund (EDF), European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Instrument for Stability (IfS), US Agency for International Development (USAID), National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Based on the combination of interests and institutions, it is predicted that a developmental approach is more likely in the case of strategically important countries, but only for USAID, the EIDHR, the EDF and the IfS which are subject to political control. In this case, USAID is expected to be more developmental than the EDF, given the strong political control of the State Department. Based on the combination of ideas and institutions, USAID and the EDF are expected to be more developmental as their main objective is development. In comparison to USAID, the EDF is expected to be more developmental, as the EDF is co-decided with the government. Empirically, the paper analyzes democracy assistance in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ethiopia since 2005. Ethiopia and Kenya are strategically important, and thus we expect a more developmental approach than in Rwanda and Zimbabwe. An analysis of democracy assistance disconfirmed the importance of interests and institutions. Transatlantic differences can better be explained by ideas and institutions, particularly the fact that the EDF is co-decided by the government. Two explanations are put forward for the relative unimportance of interests and institutions. First, it is believed that the openness of the government defines the approach to democracy assistance. Second, people in the field may still maintain some autonomy regarding the approach to democracy assistance.
Postdoctoral Scholar at CDDRL, 2012-2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, KFG Transformative Power of Europe, Free University of Berlin, 2013-2014
Internationally, there has been an increasing call for ‘partnership’ in development cooperation. This refers to development cooperation based on negotiation with the recipient government on an equal basis. While both the E.U. and the U.S. have formally committed to this principle, the E.U. is known to be a frontrunner in partnership-based development, while the U.S. was found to be rather slow in implementing this agenda. This paper investigates the degree to which E.U. and U.S. development policies reflect partnership, particularly regarding general features, aid characteristics, conditionality and aid selectivity and aid motives. It finds that, while E.U. development cooperation has traditionally been stronger focused on partnership than it is the case for the U.S., in recent years the gap is narrowing. On the one hand, E.U. development policies have increasingly resembled those of the U.S., as E.U. development assistance is becoming more focused on security and there are increasing conditions on budget support. While U.S. development policies are still strongly driven by security motives, the U.S. has recently madeefforts to increase country ownership.
Vivek Srinivasan, Program Manager, Program on Liberation Technology, CDDRL, Stanford University
Rajendran Narayanan, Cornell University
Sai Chand Chintala, Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency
Dipanjan Chakraborty, IIT Delhi
Rajesh Veeraraghavan, University of California, Berkeley
Vibhore Vardhan, University of California, Berkeley
In this article, we focus on three forceful arguments that have been made in favour of “direct” cash transfers: One, cash can be delivered directly to the beneficiaries by removing many layers of intermediaries that are typically involved in delivering other benefits such as subsidised food in the Public Distribution System. It has been argued that since intermediaries are often corrupt, transferring cash directly to beneficiaries will eliminate corruption. Two, technology could be used at all steps of the transfer of benefits and thus we can track the flow of money from start to end, which will make the flow of cash entirely transparent. Three, direct transfers are instantaneous. These arguments have been used by proponents to build support for direct cash transfers alternative to other forms of benefits transfer. We examine these claims empirically.
Researcher, Bi- and Multilateral Development Policy Department, German Development Institute
Head, Bi- and Multilateral Development Policy Department, German Development Institute
Researcher, Bi- and Multilateral Development Policy Department, German Development Institute
Development cooperation is part of an international cooperation system characterised by fragmentation and limitations in global problem solving. Drawing on the term ‘Beyond Aid’, this article develops a conceptual framework for understanding the transformation of development cooperation within this system. The article defines Beyond Aid, a term so far used loosely to describe various aspects of a dynamically changing aid context, by distinguishing between four dimensions: actors, finance, regulation and knowledge. These dimensions represent areas in which aid loses relevance relative to other fields of international cooperation. Creating links to these Beyond Aid dimensions is at the core of the transformation of development cooperation. Understanding this transformation as a learning process, the article identifies ‘specialisation’ and ‘integration’ as two potential options that might redefine development cooperation as a policy field.
Why do American political reform efforts so often fail to solve the problems they intend to fix? In this book, Bruce E. Cain argues that the reasons are an unrealistic civic ideal of a fully informed and engaged citizenry and a neglect of basic pluralist principles about political intermediaries. This book traces the tension between populist and pluralist approaches as it plays out in many seemingly distinct reform topics, such as voting administration, campaign finance, excessive partisanship, redistricting, and transparency and voter participation. It explains why political primaries have promoted partisan polarization, why voting rates are declining even as election opportunities increase, and why direct democracy is not really a grassroots tool. Cain offers a reform agenda that attempts to reconcile pluralist ideals with the realities of collective-action problems and resource disparities.
Bruce E. Cain is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He received a BA from Bowdoin College (1970), a B Phil. from Oxford University (1972) as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph D from Harvard University (1976). He taught at Caltech (1976-89) and UC Berkeley (1989-2012) before coming to Stanford. Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012. He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000). His areas of expertise include political regulation, applied democratic theory, representation and state politics. Some of Professor Cain’s most recent publications include “Malleable Constitutions: Reflections on State Constitutional Design,” coauthored with Roger Noll in University of Texas Law Review, volume 2, 2009; “More or Less: Searching for Regulatory Balance,” in Race, Reform and the Political Process, edited by Heather Gerken, Guy Charles and Michael Kang, CUP, 2011; and “Redistricting Commissions: A Better Political Buffer?” in The Yale Law Journal, volume 121, 2012.
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Writing in The New York Time Book review, Michael Lind described The Origins of Political Order as "a major achievement by one of the leading public intellectuals of our time." Fukuyama completes the most important work of political thought in at least a generation. Taking up the essential question of how societies develop strong, impersonal, and accountable political institutions, Fukuyama follows the story from the Industrial Revolution to the globalization of democracy, from the rise of the Prussian bureaucratic state to the so-called Arab Spring and the deep dysfunctions of contemporary American politics. He examines the effects of corruption on governance and explains why only some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why certain regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.
A sweeping, masterful account of the struggle to create a well-functioning modern state, Political Order and Political Decay is destined to be a classic.
Francis Fukuyama discusses the central argument and main themes behind his new volume, "Political Order and Political Decay."
About the Author
Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy. Fukuyama was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director for the State Department’s policy planning staff. He is the author of The Origins of Political Order, The End of History and the Last Man, Trust, and America at the Crossroads, among other books. He lives with his wife in California.
In an article published in the January 2014 issue of Current History, Larry Diamond urges civil society and policy leaders to stay optimistic about democracy’s future, arguing that its historical moment has not passed. Despite recent examples of democratic breakdowns, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, Diamond claims that values are shifting, giving way to an empowered and vocal citizenry, which may pressure governments toward more accountable and democratic forms of rule.
New Challenges for Maturing Democracies in Korea and Taiwan takes a creative and comparative view of the new challenges and dynamics confronting these maturing democracies.
Numerous works deal with political change in the two societies individually, but few adopt a comparative approach—and most focus mainly on the emergence of democracy or the politics of the democratization processes. This book, utilizing a broad, interdisciplinary approach, pays careful attention to post-democratization phenomena and the key issues that arise in maturing democracies.
“As two paradigmatic cases of democratic development, Korea and Taiwan are often seen as exemplars of both modernization and democratization. This volume both contributes and moves beyond this focus, looking forward to assess the maturation but also the risks to democracy in both countries. With its strong comparative focus and a sober appreciation of how hard it can be not to just to attain but to sustain democracy, it represents a major contribution."
— Benjamin Reilly, Dean, Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Murdoch University
What emerges is a picture of two evolving democracies, now secure, but still imperfect and at times disappointing to their citizens—a common feature and challenge of democratic maturation. The book demonstrates that it will fall to the elected political leaders of these two countries to rise above narrow and immediate party interests to mobilize consensus and craft policies that will guide the structural adaptation and reinvigoration of the society and economy in an era that clearly presents for both countries not only steep challenges but also new opportunities.
Larry Diamond is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford. He is also Director of Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Gi-Wook Shin is Director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, the Tong Yang, Korea Foundation, and Korea Stanford Alumni Chair of Korean Studies, and Professor of Sociology at Stanford.
The levels of violence in Mexico have dramatically increased in the last few years due to structural changes in the drug trafficking business. The increase in the number of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) fighting over the control of territory and trafficking routes has resulted in a substantial increase in the rates of homicides and other crimes. This study evaluates the economic costs of drug-related violence. We propose electricity consumption as an indicator of the level of municipal economic activity and use two different empirical strategies to test this.
We study the governance of public good provision in poor communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. We estimate the effect of usos y costumbres—a form of participatory democracy prevalent in indigenous communities—on the provision of local public goods. Because governance is endogenous, we address selection effects by matching on municipal characteristics and long-term settlement patterns.