Fall 2016 - 60574 - PA682GA - Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2016 - 60574 - PA682GA - Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues

Mexican Cartel Violence: Assessing the Mexican Government’s Response(s)

The purpose of this PRP is to analyze and assess the varied responses of the Mexican federal government, over time, to the pervasive security challenges associated with drug-trafficking cartels.  Among other things, PRP students will study:

  • the history, organizational structure, legal authorities, practical capacities, and culture of Mexican government institutions associated with law enforcement, national defense, and intelligence;
  • the history, organizational structure, practical capacities, and culture of relevant organized crime entities;
  • the evolution over time of local, state, and federal government responses to the cartels, with an emphasis on social and political contexts;
  • the impact of cartel violence on journalism;
  • cartel economics;
  • comparative case studies; and
  • the efficacy (and fate) of various policy responses.

Building on this foundation, the PRP students will generate a report designed both to evaluate the wisdom of past policy responses and to make recommendations regarding the path forward.  In addition, PRP students throughout the year will curate an online resource designed to track current events relating to this topic, to provide an outlet for selected commentary, and to gather in one convenient place a variety of scholarly resources on the topic.

We anticipate that the class sessions will consist of a mix of discussions based on readings and also interactions (live, by VTC, or by phone) with a wide variety of special guests. The Strauss Center also intends to provide travel support enabling some guests to come to Austin to meet with the PRP, and enabling some (if not all) students in the PRP to travel to Mexico to conduct research. In addition, we contemplate two unusual additional features for this PRP:

  • A partnership with one or more Mexican universities conducting a parallel inquiry into the same or similar issues, and
  • A year-end conference on this topic bringing together the LBJ PRP and our Mexican partners as hosts for a gathering of experts (with a possible mid-year conference on the table as well).

The precise client for this PRP is to be determined in the weeks ahead, along with the details of the partnership(s) with one or more Mexican university.

Fluency in Spanish is desirable, but not required for this PRP.

SRH 3.312/360