Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Political Science

Major Professor

Mark Amen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Tauber, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Harry E Vanden, Ph.D.


Bolivia, Transnational Repression, Sydney, Global Prohibition, Resistance


This thesis discusses the growing body of work on transnational social movement theory. Transnational social movement theory is an attempt to adapt social movement theory to the changing nature of international relations. To further this theory, I test the hypothesis that "a transnational social movement has caused drug law reforms at the local and state level".

To test this hypothesis I undertake a case study of one local and one national drug law reform. The drug laws in the state of New South Wales, Australia were reformed in 1999 to allow heroin addicts to use a medical center to inject their drug. The second case study is of Bolivia's national coca laws where the government allows a small amount of coca to be grown for legal traditional consumption.

I conclude that a transnational social movement has had little impact on these law reforms but perhaps in the future such a movement will begin to have a greater impact on local and national drug laws around the world. To become more effective, I suggest that the transnational movement should establish a set of goals, strengthen networks among activists, develop insurgent consciousness, develop an innovative repertoire of contention, and it needs to take advantage of the political opportunity structure when it opens.