The role of the OAS in the war on drugs in the Americas. Explaining the OAS shift in discourse regarding the war on drugs

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The purpose of this thesis is to explain why the Organization of American States (OAS) shifted its policy discourse on its strategy for fighting the war on drugs in the Americas from a militarized to a more balanced approach. This thesis uses three grand theories of the International Relations (IR) scholarship, namely neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism, and social constructivism, notably the life cycle of the norm, to test plausible explanations. Through a case study and process tracing, this thesis finds that neorealism and neoliberal institutionalism have limited explanatory power regarding the subject under investigation, for they fail to take the role of norms into serious consideration. Also, this thesis finds that norm entrepreneurs advocating for human rights norms have directly influenced the OAS shift in discourse regarding the war on drugs. This thesis enhances our understanding of the role of the OAS in the war on drugs, while taking the role of norms and ideas into account.
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