Political economy of Caribbean drug trafficking: The case of the Dominican Republic

Joseph Michael Rogers, Florida International University


The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the relationship between narcotics trafficking and the processes of economic liberalization and democratization in the Caribbean. The salient social, political and economic processes were explored at each juncture of the drug trafficking chain to determine why certain groups and locales became integrated in the global narcotics economy. It also considered the national security implications of the global narcotics economy. The Global Commodity Chain framework allowed the study to examine the social, political and economic processes that determine how a commodity is produced, transported, distributed and consumed in the global economy. A case study method was used to specify the commodity (cocaine) and locations (U.S. and Dominican Republic) where these processes were examined. The important contributing factors in the study included: a liberalizing global economy, the social processes of migration, the formation of enclaves in the U.S., the opening of the political process and institutional weakness in the country of origin. All of these factors contributed to the Dominican Republic and Dominican migrants becoming key players in the cocaine commodity chain. It concluded that narcotics trafficking as a national security issue remains a fluid concept, contingent on specific cultural and historic antecedents.

Subject Area

Political science|Cultural anthropology

Recommended Citation

Rogers, Joseph Michael, "Political economy of Caribbean drug trafficking: The case of the Dominican Republic" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9922560.