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Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century MexicoThe Other Half of the Centaur$
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Wil G. Pansters

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804781589

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804781589.001.0001

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States, Borders, and Violence

States, Borders, and Violence

Lessons from the U.S.-Mexican Experience

Chapter:
(p.43) Chapter Two States, Borders, and Violence
Source:
Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico
Author(s):

David A. Shirk

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804781589.003.0002

This chapter deals with the theoretical dimensions of the state in relation to its borders, focusing on the U.S.-Mexican border and how border violence is connected to state power. Aside from violent criminal activity by drug cartels and transnational gangs, border violence has recently characterized the U.S.-Mexican borderlands ranging from street-level gang violence to robbery, brutality against women, and violence and hate crimes against immigrants. The chapter shows that U.S. and Mexican state responses to these phenomena have not only been inept and ineffectual in most cases, but also contributed to the maladies affecting the border region. Thus, Mexico and the United States, and states in general, must tackle these transborder problems by looking beyond unilateral and primarily border-focused solutions. In order to better manage contemporary border violence, this chapter stresses the need for neighboring countries to leverage and employ the same processes of integration that appear to be undermining the state.

Keywords:   U.S.-Mexican border, violence, state power, immigrants, United States, borders, states, robbery, hate crimes

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