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Eschewing any attempt to write in a light or entertaining manner, this paper instead uses insights from IR theory, political science, and criminology to understand how the drug trade shaped and distorted the Mexican state over the past century.

Benjamin Smith is Professor of History at Warwick University. He has published widely on the history of politics, society, crime, and the press in Mexico, most recently The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade (W. W. Norton, 2021).

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