Monday, September 26, 2016

Call for Papers: Paramilitarism in Global Perspective

See below the CFP for a new edited volume that I am co-editting:

The Political Violence of Capital: Paramilitary Formations
In Global Perspective

Editors: Jasmin Hristov, Jeb Sprague-Silgado and Aaron Tauss

         We are seeking proposals /abstracts of 500 words maximum for chapter contributions to the volume. We encourage submissions of proposals for works that address paramilitary violence in any part of the world. The deadline for submitting a proposal is December 1, 2016. Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, and current position in the same Word document as the abstract. Acceptance notification will be sent out by December 15. If accepted, contributors will be given a general list of guiding questions that should be addressed in their work and completed chapters would be due by March 15, 2017. 
     Please insert in the subject line of your email: “paramilitary proposal” and send your document as an attachment to: jasminmanaus[at]gmai[dot]com
      Paramilitary violence is a specific type of violence exercised by non-state actors and/or state agents operating outside the boundaries of legality, on behalf of economically and politically powerful social forces. Its objectives typically revolve around attacking social movements, activists, Leftist politicians and other individuals or groups who challenge the established social order, as well as facilitating land acquisition through the forced displacement of civilians from land of strategic economic importance. Paramilitary groups may also perform other functions such as ‘social cleansing’, and ‘protection’ of private property. Despite its anti-democratic character, over the past decades paramilitarism has evolved as a revamped strategy pursued by dominant groups and elites operating through different state apparatuses primarily in developing countries. Today paramilitary formations are present in varying degrees across the Americas and other areas worldwide. A central characteristic common to all is their alliance with capital and, frequently, a mutually supportive relationship with the state’s coercive apparatus and possibly other state institutions, ranging from complicity to active collaboration. In nations where economic elites are contesting reformist, nationalist, or Left-oriented governments, paramilitary groups have been used to destabilize the regime and undermine its popular support. As is well documented, paramilitary actors have been responsible for some of the most horrifying human rights violations and yet this type of violence is very poorly understood and investigated. In part, this has to do with the fact that paramilitaries are often categorized as “organized crime” which strips the political motivations and social consequences of their actions. 
     This edited volume examines the pervasive and persistent but little understood phenomenon of paramilitarism and its varying expressions throughout the world. Our aim is to reveal some of the most common features that characterize paramilitary groups such as: a)  use of violence to facilitate the accumulation of capital accumulation by transnational corporations and local companies integrated within the global  economy; b) engagement in human rights violations and illegal activities; c) attacks against social movements, Leftist organizations or individuals, and poor rural or urban communities; d)  collaboration with sectors of national and/or transnational state forces, e)  ‘security’ as an ideological cover, and f) a trend towards flexibilization and decentralization of forces. The objective is to compile empirically-oriented investigations that enable us to theorize and understand the role of paramilitaries in the processes of capitalist globalization and the increasing exacerbation of social inequalities. We are especially interested in demonstrating that although frequently the lines between paramilitarism and organized crime are blurry and fluid, paramilitary violence has comparatively much deeper implications and hence cannot simply be reduced to criminal activities. We are also open to exploring different possible configurations in the relationship between paramilitary groups, rival political factions, organized crime, and other actors. 


Sunday, August 14, 2016


A Mandarin Chinese version of my forthcoming article "Transnational capitalist class and relations of production in Asia and Oceania" is now published by the Taiwan/Hong Kong/mainland China based alternative media website Ground Breaking 破土 and also by Chinese Social Sciences Net.   It can be read here (and pasted below).

Friday, May 6, 2016

New article with NACLA on the Dominican Republic

I have a new short article published with NACLA, titled "Polyarchy in the Dominican Republic: The Elite Versus the Elite". Read it here. I was also  interviewed on this topic on Latin Pulse.  An expanded version of the article in español appears in the Dominican media-worker cooperative El Grillo.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review of 2015 edited volume with Routledge: Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania

       The Journal of World-Systems Research has published an excellent review by graduate student David Feldman of my 2015 edited volume (with Routledge) titled Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania.  Chapters in the book examined the shifting relations of production and productive forces under global capitalism through the context of East Asia, South Asia, and Oceania. It was made up of chapters submitted from the third biennial NCSGC conference in Brisbane, Australia in 2013.
         Feldman provides critical insights into the particularities of the findings in the chapters (and on differences between the authors' approaches); focusing in on the contradictions inherent in the growth of global capitalist relations.  He concludes by making a vital point (and criticism, as only two chapters dealt with this) that "gendered aspects of class and productive relations" need to be front and center in understanding the totality of production. He observes that: "transnational capital's lack of attention to the social reproduction of an ever-increasing number of strata in global society constitutes one of the key contradictions of the accumulation of capital today." Read the entire review here.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New article published in the peer reviewed journal Caribbean Studies

Click here for a PDF of my new article published in the scholarly journal Caribbean Studies.  This is an altered version of one chapter in my recently completed Ph.D. dissertation: The Caribbean and Global Capitalism.  The article is titled: "From International to Transnational Mining: The Industry's Shifting Political Economy and the Caribbean". The English, Spanish, and French versions of the abstract are below. Click here for a URL link to the journal.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New review of my 2012 book

Matthew Davidson, at the University of Miami, has written an excellent review of my 2012 book. You can read it here, on the website: Haiti: Then and Now.