Date of Graduation

Winter 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Lucia Cantero


The role of the state is to provide political goods such as security and an environment conducive to economic growth. The Venezuelan state is failing to provide both security and conditions capable of producing economic growth. The government has exacerbated both by enacting failed policies. I measure the economic crisis in Venezuela based on the rates of inflation, falling foreign currency reserves, the food and medical supply shortage, falling government spending, and negative GDP growth. I measure the security crisis based on the escalating rate of kidnapping, human trafficking, drug sales, smuggling, theft, gun distribution, and homicide. In this thesis, I use a mixed qualitative and quantitative method to demonstrate how the Venezuelan state is failing to mitigate the economic and security crises. I examine what it is to be a failing and failed state and define what it is that makes Venezuela a failing state.