A War for Oil: The US Economic War on Venezuela

A Bridge Too Far It resembled something from a post-apocalyptic setting in a movie: images of the blocked highway bridge linking Colombia to Venezuela, silent and desolate containers behind fences, not a person in sight, no movement. It was like a makeshift monument to a people’s understanding of how “humanitarian aid” is used by empire […]

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Democracy in Cuba and at Home

Review essay, Part 1 (see Part 2) Cuba and its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion. By Arnold August. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing; London: Zed Books. 2013. ISBN 978-1-55266-404-9. 267 pages (not including Preface and Acknowledgments) Arnold August’s Cuba and its Neighbours is a richly documented and thus very detailed description and analysis of the history, theory, and […]

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 3)

Within the question of the professionalisation of the discipline lies a still largely unexplored area of how Anthropology serves as a western, largely white, middle-class mode of ‘consumption’, specifically the consumption of knowledge about the world that has been ‘appropriately’ filtered, organized, and translated. Of course getting a degree in Anthropology is not just like any other form of consumption, just as it is not merely an expression of curiosity: the process results in formal certification.

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 2)

Anthropology as a discipline, and anthropology as curiosity about difference or as a philosophy of the human condition, certainly overlap but they are not the same. Enforcers of the discipline have tended to monopolistically speak in the name of the project as a whole. This appropriation, whether intentional or simply a mistake, confuses analysis of the purposes of institutional Anthropology.

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 1)

Questions and debates about the end of anthropology are highlighted here for their potential value in revealing what the ‘crisis talk’ in the discipline really means, and what it may be masking. In this article the reader is invited to reflect on several questions: about anthropology as a discipline or as a praxis; about how anthropology can be not just revitalised, but revolutionised; about the place of ethnography in anthropology; and, the quest for distinction and the accumulation of disciplinary capital. More broadly, this article deals with the restructuring of anthropology within a context of continued imperialism.

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Encircling Empire: Report #9, 01—07 January 2011

EE: Report #9, 01—07 January 2011 Encircling Empire Reports is a selection of essays, blog posts, and news reports covering a given time period. They are intended to be useful for those interested in: ● contemporary and critical political anthropology ● public anthropology ● imperialism and imperial decline ● militarism/militarization ● the political economy of the […]

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The Wikileaks Revolution

[This is the first in a series of three articles that will be devoted to the subject of Wikileaks, secrecy, the state, and transformation. This is intended as a survey of some of the opinions I have found most interesting.] “The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are […]

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Encircling Empire: Report #1, 03-11 September 2010

EE: Report #1, 03—11 September 2010 Encircling Empire Reports is a selection of essays, blog posts, and news reports covering a given time period, which can usually be glimpsed in raw form at zero.collected. They are intended to be useful for those interested in: ● contemporary and critical political anthropology ● public anthropology ● imperialism […]

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Counterinsurgency: It’s Bloody Horrible

COUNTER-COUNTERINSURGENCY: You’ve heard the criticisms. You’ve read the book. Now see the movie. These are some of my favourite lines: counterinsurgency: it’s like a wild horse, only you bet on it; counterinsurgency involves a thousand small healing steps; the manual can never be wrong, only the practice; cultural knowledge for the military: it’s so basic […]

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Multiplying Human Terrain Dreams of Victory and Fortune

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force Cyclone Human Terrain Team’s, 1st Lt. Raphael Howard, research manager, speaks with village members of Shaykh Ali, Parwan province, Afghanistan, Dec. 19, 2009. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. William E. Henry, Task Force Cyclone, 38th Infantry Division) It is increasingly apparent that even if TRADOC’s Human Terrain System were […]

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