Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Co-authored letter published in the Guardian

Poll on deaths in Iraq ignored by British media
In May 2013 the reputable polling company ComRes asked a representative sample of the British public the following question: "How many Iraqis, both combatants and civilians, do you think have died as a consequence of the war that began in Iraq in 2003?"
According to 59% of the respondents, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis died as a result of the war. The results are especially shocking because respondents were not asked to limit their estimates to Iraqi civilians or to deaths caused directly by violence.
The latest scientific estimate of the death toll from the war is almost 500,000. This was published in PLOS Medicine. Two previous studies, also published in peer-reviewed scientific journalssuggest the death toll may possibly have been closer to a million. Only 6% of the respondents in the ComRes poll estimated more than 500,000 Iraqi deaths. Only 0.3% said they didn't know or declined to give an estimate.
The ComRes poll is powerful evidence that the media misled the public about the consequences of the war. The evidence is bolstered by the way the poll was ignored by the British media. Using Lexis-Nexis, the only prominent piece we could find about the poll in the British press was an op-ed by Ian Sinclair in the Morning Star, a small leftwing newspaper.
Anyone tempted to support military intervention anywhere in the world should know how effectively the most catastrophic human costs of war can be hidden from the public.
Joe Emersberger, Keane Bhatt, Noam Chomsky, David Cromwell, David Edwards, Peter Hallward, Jeb Sprague, Daniel Thornton

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book reviewed in Journal of Labor & Society

My book with Monthly Review Press was reviewed by Matthew J. Smith, senior lecturer in the Department of History and Archeology at the University of West Indies, Mona, in Jamaica, author of Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957.  You can read the review here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Island of Hispaniola: Coalitions and cross-border solidarity

I published a new op-ed on the Pambazuka Website (with an updated/corrected version published in the hardcopy of CounterPunch Magazine). The article provides some brief remarks and ideas on the political situation and social conflict in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the connection between the two. A version in español is published on the Rebelión website and a Français verison is published in L'Aut'Journal (Haiti Liberte weekly newspaper version pasted below). 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Savage Wars of the Capitalist Peace: The New Geoeconomics & the Rise of China

Adelaide University's Dr. Kanishka Jayasuriya gives a keynote talk "The Savage Wars of the Capitalist Peace: The New Geoeconomics & the Rise of China". In the context of political science literature on "rising powers", he examines the weaknesses of nation-state centrism and mainstream thinking on the "rise of china", and how this ignores the more nuanced shifting socio-economic relations occurring through global capitalism and how this relates to China. To discuss this he looks in particular at the 'Asian Century White Paper Report' commissioned by the Australian government of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I recorded this talk in June of 2013 at the "Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania conference" at Griffith University in Brisbane. This was the 2nd conference of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC). For more information see:

Crisis, the Emerging New Stage of Capitalism, and the Need of a Transnational Class Strategy for Social Emancipation

Above is a talk and brief interview with Dr. George Liodakis that I recorded in September of 2011 at the first conference of Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC) in Prague, Czech Republic. His paper was titled "Crisis, the Emerging New Stage of Capitalism, and the Need of a Transnational Class Strategy for Social Emancipation." Professor Liodakis teaches at the Technical University of Crete, Greece. Among many other publications, he is the author of the book: "Totalitarian Capitalism and Beyond" (London: Ashgate, 2010).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Political Economy Approach Versus the Network Theory Approach to Understanding Global Capitalism

Dr. Jerry Harris, political economist at DeVry University in Chicago,IL, gives a talk on transnational class formation and global capitalism. He looks in particular at the differences between the political economist approach to this topic and how network theory sociologists have looked at global capitalism and the transnational capitalist class. I recorded this talk in June of 2013 at the "Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania conference" at Griffith University in Brisbane. This was the 2nd conference of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC). For more information see:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

China's Integration into Global Capitalism

Below is a video I recorded (apologies for the bad angles, as I have not figured out on my computer yet how to adjust these) of Dr. Jerry Harris, a political economist at DeVry University in Chicago. Here he discusses the integration of China into global capitalism and in particular the transnational economic and class dynamics of this process. This talk was given in June of 2013 at the "Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania conference" at Griffith University in Brisbane. Most of the Q&A's are also included toward the end of the video. This talk was given at the 2nd conference of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC). The conference was held at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and focused on "Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania". For more information see:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finance Capital and Climate Change: The Role of Climate Interested Investors

         Below is a video I recorded of Griffith University Sociologists Dr. Georgina Murray and Dr. David Peetz examining if it is possible within the logic of finance capital to have some groups or sub-class of the transnational capitalist class that can be focused toward the longer-term, whereas the great drive in financialization over recent decades has been toward increasing emphasis on short-termism (I.E. short term profits). The research here points to the contradictions of global capitalism, emphasizing the detrimental impact it is having upon our planet.

         Once the main lecture in the video begins (after the intro) at around 2 minutes and 33 seconds, you will need to turn the volume up significantly. This talk was given in June of 2013 at the "Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania conference" at Griffith University in Brisbane. This was the 2nd conference of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC). For more information see:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Upcoming talks in June & August

If you plan to be at any of the below events or will be in the area, I've listed below the upcoming talks I have planned.

* On Thursday, June 7, at 2:45 in the St. Andrews room at the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) conference on the Caribbean island of Grenada I will be giving a talk on new research I have been doing. The talk is titled: "An Emergent Cornerstone of Global Capitalism in the Caribbean: A Case Study on Transnational Mining in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica." That same day at 6:30 Dr. Mark Schuller (author of the new book Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs (Rutgers Press, 2012)) will be presenting my book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review, 2012) at the conference's author celebration meeting.

* In mid-June I will be giving a talk in Santiago, Dominican Republic, discussing my book with local grassroots organizations and educators. For various reasons the meeting is invite only. If you are interested in attending email me at: jhsprague[at]
* On Saturday, June 29, I will be giving a talk titled "Theorizing transnational class relations" at the Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania conference that is taking place at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and is being organized by the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism. I will be giving my talk on a panel with Dr. Jerry Harris (author of The Dialectics of Globalization: Economic and Political Conflict in a Transnational World (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008))
* On Sunday, August 11, I will be giving a talk titled "Transnational Capitalism, Class, and the Caribbean Context” at the American Sociological Association that is being held in New York City.

Monday, April 1, 2013

New reviews of my book by Hyppolite Pierre and Bruce Poinsette

Read a new review here of my book by Hyppolite Pierre. He is a Political Science Adjunct Faculty at the American Military University and the author of Haiti, Rising Flames from Burning Ashes: Haiti the Phoenix.

Also read a review/interview here on my book by Bruce Poinsette of The Skanner News.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Article in ¡Presente!

The new issue of ¡Presente!, the newspaper of the movement to close the School of the Americas (SOA), includes an abridged version of my recent article on Haiti's ex-army. The article can be read here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

CFP: Global Capitalism in Asia & Oceania.

I am a co-organizer for this forthcoming conference at Griffith University in Brisbane Australia. Please see the CFP below.  This is the 3rd biennial conference of the network for critical studies of global capitalism (NCSGC).

Outside of Asia, much is made of ‘the Asian Century’, the ‘rise of Asia’, the economic potential of Asian markets, regional trade agreements with Asia, and building ‘Asia- relevant’ capabilities to support all these. Such instrumental views are shaping the ideological landscape of many parts of the ‘West’.
For those from within and outside Asia who are interested in critical studies of global capitalism other topics are much more pressing. These include the different models and manifestations of global capitalism that are being adopted across Asia, as well as the links between such models and ongoing political developments in the region.
Questions arise about the implications of newly energized “Asian capitalism” for current economic and social relationships— about current forms of economic division and exploitation, increasing social polarization and state based authoritarianism. Related questions also come up about oppositional activist practices that are arising and contemporary modes of policing such dissent.
The purpose of this conference is to focus critical studies of global capitalism on Asia, Australia, and the Oceania region, to provide opportunities for interested scholars and activists to explore related issues.
  • The transnational capitalist class in Asia, Australia, and Oceania.
  • The so-called Asian century; potential winners and losers.
  • Diverse forms of neo-liberalism in Asia.
  • Transnational capital and the state.
  • State repression and militarisation.
  • Financialisation and tax havens.
  • The political economies of international education
  • Global corporate networks intersecting with Asia and Australia.
  • Capitalism, class and power relations in these regions.
  • Workers in the Asia and global assembly lines.
  • Social and political movements, protest and activisms.ops Topics that we invite abstract/paper submissions for:
Submit Abstracts to: Jerry Harris, or Anthony van Fossen,
(after 30th April) Final deadline 30th May, 2013
Submit Papers to: Jane Kenway, Deadline 30th May
Papers: Circulated with workshop group
Aim: Publication
Registration Online - Costs: $250 waged and $125 unwaged and students.
Sponsors: Griffith University’s Centre for Work, Organisation and Well Being;
School of Humanities; and Arts, Education & Law Group.
Venue: Ship Inn, Griffith University, South Bank, Brisbane, Australia
Accommodation: South Bank hotels
Conference Info: http//
Conference Organizing Committee: William I. Robinson, Jeb Sprague,
(Univ. California Santa Barbara), Jason Struna (Univ. Calif. Riverside),
Jerry Harris (DeVry University), Leslie Sklair (LSE), William K. Carroll (University of Victoria) Jane Kenway (Monash University), Anthony van Fossen, David Peetz & Georgina Murray (Griffith University) 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Global Capitalism and “North-South” Unevenness

I have a new journal article (co-authored with scholars from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Iztapalapa) published in the journal Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. We examine quantitatively the ranking, statistical correlations, and profits from the Forbes’ Worldwide List of 2000 Top Firms, arrive at some conclusions, and suggest a valuable approach for understanding and analyzing this data. You can read the article here.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Paramilitarism in Haiti: A Photographic History

     Below are photos to accompany my book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review Press, 2012). These photos were either: (a) provided to me with permission to use by the photographer, (b) photos that I took, or (c) they have been posted through Creative Commons (CC) which was especially necessary with the older historical periods covered.
     These images focus our attention on paramilitary organizations and their facilitators: various state, military, and intelligence apparatuses, officials, and elite networks. As paramilitary groups and their backers have gained impunity time and again, it is necessary to document all of this for the historical record, which I have tried to do in my recently published book. Through these photos, we are forced to recognize that the victims of paramilitary violence in Haiti are overwhelmingly from the country's lower-income communities and grassroots pro-democracy movement.
     In addition to these photographs, I suggest looking over the many excellent documentaries, books, and other sources that provide a compelling record of contemporary paramilitary violence in Haiti and the region. 

     I have put this photo montage together from a powerpoint that I used a few months back during various presentations I gave on the book. I hope readers of the book will find this useful, as well as the university classes that I know have been assigned to read it. This photo montage is a work in progress.