Militarized Global Apartheid

Book Pages: 208 Illustrations: Published: November 2020

Anthropology, Globalization and Neoliberalism, Sociology > Social Theory

In Militarized Global Apartheid Catherine Besteman offers a sweeping theorization of the ways in which countries from the global north are reproducing South Africa's apartheid system on a worldwide scale to control the mobility and labor of people from the global south. Exploring the different manifestations of global apartheid, Besteman traces how militarization and securitization reconfigure older forms of white supremacy and deploy them in new contexts to maintain this racialized global order. Whether using the language of security, military intervention, surveillance technologies, or detention centers and other forms of incarceration, these projects reinforce and consolidate the global north's political and economic interests at the expense of the poor, migrants, refugees, Indigenous populations, and people of color. By drawing out how this new form of apartheid functions and pointing to areas of resistance, Besteman opens up new space to theorize potential sources of liberatory politics.


“In Militarized Global Apartheid, Catherine Besteman brings together two worlds that are as separate as possible yet shape each other in a dynamic they cannot quite escape. Even though inevitably the powerful have killer instruments that those without power lack, Besteman finds the many ways in which they also mark each other. She emphasizes the extent to which Western modes of production and labor force management generally did not bring a better world to the workers of Africa. This is a must-read book!” — Saskia Sassen, author of Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

“Catherine Besteman's wonderfully capacious framework for understanding the myriad lines of division and modes of domination that compose the contemporary global order is both intellectually satisfying and politically urgent.” — Michael Hardt, coauthor of Assembly

"Militarized Global Apartheid isn’t light reading—good reading, yes; important reading, surely; light reading—no. . . . What Besteman adds to this conversation about capital’s exploitative power is a piecemeal categorization of the varied techniques the Global North uses to exploit the Global South." — Joseph Hurtgen, Ancillary Review of Books


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Catherine Besteman is Francis F. Bartlett and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College and author of Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction. The Argument  1
1. Belonging  21
2. Plunder  40
3. Containment  61
4. Labor  83
5. Militarization  101
6. Futures  126
Acknowledgments  137
Notes  139
References  157
Index  187
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