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Title: NAFTA-land security : the Mérida Initiative, transnational threats, and U.S. security projection in Mexico
Author: Ashby, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 0888
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores recent U.S. bilateral aid to Mexico through the Mérida Initiative (MI), a $2.3 billion assistance commitment on the part of the United States (U.S.) officially justified as helping Mexico build its capacity to take on violent drug cartels and thereby improve security in both countries. There has been a good amount of engaging work on the MI. However this extant literature has not undertaken detailed policy analysis of the aid programme, leading to conclusions that it is a fresh approach to the Mexican counternarcotics (CN) challenge, or that CN is a ‘fig leaf’ for the U.S. to pursue other ‘real’ goals. This is a core gap in the literature this project seeks to fill. Through policy analysis, I make an empirically supported argument that Mérida is a component of a far more ambitious policy agenda to regionalise security with Mexico more generally. This involves stabilising Mexico itself, not least in response to serious drug-related violence. However the U.S. also aims to improve its own security by giving greater ‘depth’ to its borders, and seeks protect the political economy of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) from variegated security threats. In this way, recent U.S. policy in Mexico is both derivative of its wider grand strategic traditions in stabilising key political economies in line with its interests, and representative of some distinct developments stemming from the deeply integrated U.S.-Mexican economy as part of NAFTA. To assure U.S. interests accrued to it through the increasingly holistic North American economy, the U.S. has used the MI as the main vehicle in the construction of a nascent ‘NAFTA-land Security’ framework.
Supervisor: Blakeley, Ruth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JZ International relations