Analysis of West African drug trafficking the dynamics of interdiction and state capacity
Bury, Steven E.
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Illegal drug trafficking through West Africa has grown dramatically in the last decade, capturing the attention of U.S., European, and U.N. policymakers. Most countries in West Africa have struggled to adapt to the challenges drug trafficking has presented. A few countries, like Ghana, have made a more concerted and successful effort to confront the problem. This thesis seeks to test the hypothesis that variations in counternarcotics interdiction success Ghana and Guinea-Bissau can be explained by the level of state capacity and the ability to absorb international counternarcotics partnerships to deal with the problem. The findings of this study suggest the success of Ghana relative to Guinea- Bissau is explained by higher level of initial state capacity and its ability to absorb international assistance. The government of Guinea-Bissau, on the other hand, is caught in an incapacity trap that has thwarted its efforts towards narcotics interdiction. Efforts at international partnership in Ghana have a foundation of state capacity to build upon and a viable partner whereas in Guinea-Bissau assistance efforts have been relegated to correcting the utter lack of capacity in an environment of political-military instability where a viable partner in the War on Drugs has not yet emerged.
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