Abstract: This proposed contribution to the special issue of ILWCH offers a theoretical re-consideration of the Liberian project. If, as is commonly supposed in its historiography and across contemporary discourse regarding its fortunes into the twenty-first century, Liberia is a notable, albeit contested, instance of the modern era’s correctable violence in that it stands as an imperfect realization of the emancipated slave, the liberated colony, and the freedom to labor unalienated, then such representation continues to hide more than it reveals. This essay, instead, reads Liberia as an instructive leitmotif for the conversion of racial slavery’s synecdochical plantation system in the Americas into the plantation of the world writ large: the global scene of antiblackness and the immutable qualification for enslavement accorded black positionality alone. Transitions between political economic systems—from slave trade to “re-colonization,” from Firestone occupation to dictatorial-democratic regimes—reemerge from this re-examination as crucial but inessential to understanding Liberia’s position, and thus that of black laboring subjects, in the modern world. I argue that slavery is the simultaneous primitive accumulation of black land and bodies, but that this reality largely escapes current conceptualization of not only the history of labor but also that of enslavement. In other words, the African slave trade (driven first by Arabs in the Indian Ocean region, then Europeans in the Mediterranean, and, subsequently, Euro-Americans in the Atlantic) did not simply leave as its corollary effect, or byproduct, the underdevelopment of African societies. The trade in African flesh was at once the co-production of a geography of desire in which blackness is perpetually fungible at every scale, from the body to the nation-state to its soil—all treasures not simply for violation and exploitation, but more importantly, for accumulation and all manner of usage. The Liberian project elucidates this ongoing reality in distinctive ways—especially when we regard it through the lens of the millennium-plus paradigm of African enslavement. Conceptualizing slavery’s “afterlife” entails exploring the ways that emancipation extended, not ameliorated, the chattel condition, and as such, impugns the efficacy of key analytic categories like “settler,” “native,” “labor,” and “freedom” when applied to black existence. Marronage, rather than colonization or emancipation, situates Liberia within the intergenerational struggle of, and over, black work against social death. Read as enslavement’s conversion, this essay neither impugns nor heralds black action and leadership on the Liberian project at a particular historical moment, but rather agitates for centering black thought on the ongoing issue of black fungibility and social captivity that Liberia exemplifies. I argue that such a reading of Liberia presents a critique of both settler colonialism and of a certain conceptualization of the black radical tradition and its futures in heavily optimist, positivist, and political economic terms that are enjoying considerable favor in leading discourse on black struggle today.



Abstract: According to Statistics Canada, in 2016/2017 Indigenous peoples accounted for 28% of admissions to provincial/territorial prisons and 27% for federal prisons, while representing only 4.1% of the Canadian adult population. The majority of analyses drawn from these statistics continue to follow a similar line of interpretation. They begin by pointing out a pattern between the racial make-up of Canadian society and its prison population. Conclusions are then drawn between ‘over-representation’ and racialization in Canada’s prisons and tacit or overt condemnation of this system is offered. The predominant lack of acknowledgement or engagement, however, with the histories and contemporary relations of colonialism is not simply a matter of unintended ignorance or passive forgetfulness. These analyses reinforce dominant national narratives; (mis)represent Canadian governing practices and policies as fair and just embodiments of the democratic will of the people; and suspend the state’s culpability in creating and maintaining a criminal (in)justice system that produces such an abhorrently racialized demographic. I counter these narratives by rooting my analysis of the Canadian prison system in its colonial legacy and ongoing settler-colonial project, which is undercut by a certain set of logics that require the obfuscation of Indigenous presence(s). This informs my contention that, contrary to popular belief, the prison system is in fact not broken, but continues to perform the exact function it was designed to perform in the first place: the ongoing dispossession of indigenous bodies and lands, as well as a suppression of their claims to sovereignty. Overall, I am to situate the state, rather than indigeneity, in its criminality, by showing how the universalism of Canada’s sovereign ideal is constituted by the particularism in the presumptions it makes about its Self, a Self that depends on an impossible singularity.


Abstract: The conditions established after the 1994 Oslo Accords, which involved Israel transferring administrative and legal powers to the Palestinians, thereby granting them limited control over fragmented parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while retaining ‘security’ control over large sections of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt), have further consolidated Israel’s colonial control. Over a 25-year period, the peace agreement did not even create a Palestinian quasi-state with sub-sovereignty over the fragmented ‘Bantustans’. But the international community, whose aid and related efforts have had limited impact on advancing the peace negotiations, are still tied to the two-state solution, which is presumed to provide the endpoint to those negotiations. There has been a failure, on the part of the international community, to accept or admit that this solution is not realistic within the context of Israel’s continued colonisation of Palestine. The unique contribution of this thesis is to provide a new understanding of the role of EU financial aid to Palestine that has been directed towards the creation of a democratic, independent and viable future Palestinian State when analysed within the settler colonialism context. This will be achieved by analysing the views of the Palestinian public and Palestinian officials on the EU financial aid to Palestine, along with its role in creating a future Palestinian state. The EU official views, in addition to the latest EU audits and evaluations will be used to provide a self-assessment of the EU role in supporting the two-state solution through PEGASE Direct Financial Support (DFS) programmes, which have been in operation between February 2008 and October 2018. The thesis concludes that the EU’s adoption of statebuilding as a means through which to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has failed because it has not acknowledged the settler colonial context that continues to frustrate a solution. In addition, this thesis argues that, despite initiating a large number of reform priorities in Palestinian public institutions, the EU did not promote the establishment of legitimate institutions with the ability to overcome the Palestinian divide. In other words, EU statebuilding efforts have failed to implement ‘democratic state-building’ or support ‘democratic governance’ in Palestine.



Abstract: Colonial settlement at the southern tip of Africa was pre-dated by 150 years of occasional encounters with European mariners. They touched on the coast to refresh water barrels, barter for meat with the local pastoralists, and repair their crafts, or in some cases found themselves wrecked and desperate on the shores of the “Cape of Storms.” It became the “Cape of Good Hope” after fleets of European ships profiteered from the sea route to the resources of India and Asia, among them the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British.

The formal date for permanent foreign occupation of the Cape is 1652, when a Dutch East India Company (VOC, the Company) force anchored in Table Bay and, with some basic tools, materials, and supplies, set up camp.

After the decline and bankruptcy of the VOC in the late 18th century, a brief military occupation by the British (1795–1802), and an interim Dutch (“Batavian”) administration (1803–1806), the Cape became a British colony. By 1820 the Cape Colony stretched northward as far as the Orange River, and eastward to the Fish and Tugela rivers. Colonial settlement expanded with the arrival of traders, pastoralists, missionaries, and emigrants and created volatile zones in which settlers and African hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, and farmers contested with one another over land and resources. The colonial project continued into the later 19th century, spurred by the discovery of gold and diamonds far inland where independent Boer republics and Griqua states had been established. British imperialism and the lure of mineral wealth led to wars of annexation. Following the Second South African (“Anglo-Boer”) War (1899–1902) and subsequent attempts to reunify the country, in 1910 the “Union of South Africa” became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire, gaining formal independence in 1934.

Thus, colonial settlement at the Cape covers a 250-year period and a vast area (roughly equivalent to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape Provinces, and parts of North West Province). From an archaeological perspective, studies encompass the city of Cape Town and sites fanning out from there chronologically and spatially, such as grazing grounds, military outposts, the towns and villages of the coast and hinterland, arable and pastoral farms, sites of conflict and interaction, missions, and mines.


Description: This book takes an interdisciplinary approach to the complicated power relations surrounding the recognition and implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights at multiple scales.

The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 was heralded as the beginning of a new era for Indigenous Peoples’ participation in global governance bodies, as well as for the realization of their rights – in particular, the right to self-determination. These rights are defined and agreed upon internationally, but must be enacted at regional, national, and local scales. Can the global movement to promote Indigenous Peoples’ rights change the experience of communities at the local level? Or are the concepts that it mobilizes, around rights and political tools, essentially a discourse circulating internationally, relatively disconnected from practical situations? Are the categories and processes associated with Indigenous Peoples simply an extension of colonial categories and processes, or do they challenge existing norms and structures? This collection draws together the works of anthropologists, political scientists, and legal scholars to address such questions. Examining the legal, historical, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of the Indigenous Peoples’ rights movement, at global, regional, national, and local levels, the chapters present a series of case studies that reveal the complex power relations that inform the ongoing struggles of Indigenous Peoples to secure their human rights.





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