Studies in Gangs and Cartels: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Studies in Gangs and Cartels

1st Edition

By Robert J. Bunker, John P. Sullivan


232 pages

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Concerns over the changing nature of gangs and cartels and their relationships to states in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has resulted in the emergence of a scholarly body of work focused on their national security threat potentials. This body of work, utilizing the third generation gangs and third phase cartel typologies, represents an alternative to traditional gang and organized crime research and one that is increasingly influencing the US defense community. Rather than being viewed only as misguided youth and opportunistic criminals or, in their mature forms, as criminal organizations with no broader social or political agendas, more evolved gangs and cartels, are instead seen as developing political, mercenary, and state-challenging capacities. This evolutionary process has emerged due to the growing illicit economy and other unintended consequences of globalization.

This important anthology of writings by Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan draws upon a collection of their works from the mid-1990s to the present with the addition of new essays written specifically for this publication. The work will be of great interest to academics and students in the fields of political science and criminal justice and to military, law enforcement, and governmental professionals and policy makers.

This book is a collection of new and previously published works from a variety of publications, a full list of which is on the Citation Information page.

Table of Contents

Preface: Criminology vs. National Security Perspectives in Gang and Cartel Analysis Robert J. Bunker 1. Introduction: Third Generation Gangs and Third Phase Cartels John P. Sullivan SECTION I SOURCE DOCUMENTS 2. The Disaster Within Us: Urban Conflict and Street Gang Violence in Los Angeles John P. Sullivan and Martin E. Silverstein 3. Street Gangs—Future Paramilitary Groups? Robert J. Bunker 4. Epochal Change: War Over Social and Political Organization Robert J. Bunker 5. Third Generation Street Gangs: Turf, Cartels and Netwarriors John P. Sullivan 6. Cartel Evolution: Potentials and Consequences Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan SECTION II MATURING PERSPECTIVES 7. Urban Gangs Evolving As Criminal Netwar Actors John P. Sullivan 8. Drug Cartels, Street Gangs, and Warlords John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker 9. Terrorism, Crime and Private Armies John P. Sullivan 10. Maras Morphing: Revisiting Third Generation Gangs John P. Sullivan 11. Iraq & the Americas: 3 GEN Gangs Lessons and Prospects Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan 12. Child Soldiers: Despair, Barbarization, and Conflict John P. Sullivan 13. Gang, Cartel and State Interactions Robert J. Bunker 14. Postscript: Violent Non-State Actors, Gangs and Cartels John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker Appendix I: Insurgency and Crime Joint Chiefs of Staff Appendix 2: Gang and Cartel Maps (I) Appendix 3: Gang and Cartel Maps (II), can be found on

About the Authors

Dr. Robert J. Bunker is Distinguished Visiting Professor and Minerva Chair at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College. He is also Adjunct Faculty, School of Politics and Economics (SPE), Claremont Graduate University.

John P. Sullivan is a career police officer. He is also a senior fellow, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, Louisiana State University and adjunct researcher, Scientific Vortex Foundation, Bogotá Colombia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General