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Organizing crime in the margins: the enterprises and people of the American drug trade

Gundur, Rajeev Vishwanath 2017. Organizing crime in the margins: the enterprises and people of the American drug trade. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis studies the markets, organizations, and people involved in the American drug trade in three sites: El Paso, Phoenix, and Chicago. The multisited analysis explores the relationships that exist within each site and provides an overview of how the drug trade differs in various contexts. This study illustrates that, contrary to the rhetoric of politicians and law enforcement actors over the past decade, there is not a vast, singular criminal conspiracy that organizes the drug trade with the intent of taking over cities in the U.S. Instead, there exists a flexible network of actors that operates largely in the margins of society. These actors participate in the network for various lengths of time and supply the ongoing demand for illicit drugs and/or the protection required for such activities in various U.S. markets. These participants include street and prison gangs, transportation organizations, and other groups and individuals, who often work as subcontractors, for employers they may not know, accepting risky tasks for what they may view as a lucrative opportunity. Moreover, this study shows that settings are important in determining how actors in the drug trade behave. This study demonstrates that when the state can effectively respond to violent acts, the criminal entrepreneurs seek to minimize publicly visible acts of violence, thus shifting acts of violence from the street to places out of public view or to prisons or jails. Ultimately, context must be taken into account if policy which seeks to reduce the harms of the drug trade in terms of unwanted usage and violence are to be effectively operationalized.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 July 2017
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2017 16:13
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/101769

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