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When Politicians Sell Drugs: Examining Why Middle East Ethnopolitical Organizations Are Involved in the Drug Trade


When Politicians Sell Drugs: Examining Why Middle East Ethnopolitical Organizations Are Involved in the Drug Trade

Abstract: 

Political organizations claim they are serving the interests of their constituents—but being involved in the drug trade does not seem to support those claims. Why would political organizations sell drugs then? Most often the question of why organizations engage in the drug trade has been explored in the context of organizations that are either criminal or violent, thus leaving a large hole in the literature about how violence and legality intersect with other exploratory factors. We explore this issue more fully by looking at both violent and nonviolent organizations using the Middle East Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior dataset, which has data on over 100 ethnopolitical organizations in the Middle East. Very few of these organizations are involved in the drug trade and yet all of those are engaged in violence at the same time. We explore what factors, other than violence, make this rare behavior for political organizations more likely.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Asal, Victor, and Kathleen Deloughery, Brian J. Phillipsc. 2012. "When Politicians Sell Drugs: Examining Why Middle East Ethnopolitical Organizations Are Involved in the Drug Trade." Terrorism and Political Violence (March): 199-212. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546553.2011.637588#preview

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