Nations and organizations: Explaining the Mérida Initiative through the "Essence of Decision"

Richard Sebastian Flores, University of Texas at El Paso


This thesis seeks to explain state behavior and underpinning influences paramount to the political development of the Mérida Initiative. To accomplish this task, it crafts distinct, yet complimentary narratives that illustrate how and why the formulation of this policy unfolded. Utilizing historical, archival and empirical evidence, this thesis maps out the manners in which the national governments, organizational hierarchies, and bureaucratic entities involved with Mérida's origins reacted to the changing landscape throughout the policy's development. The Mérida Initiative is critical to understanding how nations are approaching the problem of illicit crime organizations and institutional instability in the U.S.-Mexico region. Encompassing over $1.5 billion of assets from the United States to Mexico, this policy encapsulates the portrait of the War on Drugs today. By systematically tracing the process of the Mérida Initiative's development through perspectives, theories, and evidence, this study generates useful insight towards understanding state behavior and the dynamics behind Mérida's beginnings. Findings suggest that the national governments of the United States and Mexico agreed to Mérida in order to seek an arena where capital for power projection purposes may be generated. Moreover, governmental organizations acted out of uncertainty rather than seeking expansion and more resources.

Subject Area

Political science|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Flores, Richard Sebastian, "Nations and organizations: Explaining the Mérida Initiative through the "Essence of Decision"" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1533223.