Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Transnationalizing the Study of the United States

Key Theories

The following are the categorical resources that are relevant to the study of the historical precedent and global consequences of the post-9/11 war on terror.

Amar, Paul. Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.

This book describes how coercive security operations and cultural rescue campaigns confronting waves of resistance have appropriated progressive, antimarket discourses around morality, sexuality, and labor. The products of these struggles have traveled across an archipelago, a metaphorical island chain of what the global security industry calls “hot spots.”

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage, 1995.

A key resource, examining the origins of the penal system, arguing that this system was created not to reduce crime, but to increase surveillance and discipline bodies.

Hall, Stuart. Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1978.

This book examines how the state and ideological apparatuses mobilize an ‘authoritarian’ consensus to justify capital’s increasingly repressive assault on the working class.

Afary, Janet., Kevin Anderson, and Michel Foucault. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution : Gender and the Seductions of Islamism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

This resource focuses on the post-Iranian Islamic Revolution and the birth of another modern state where old religious technologies of domination were refashioned and institutionalized; a state that propounded a traditionalist ideology, but equipped itself with modern technologies of organization, surveillance, warfare, and propaganda.

Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: HMH Books, 1973.

An essential read, explicating on totalitarianism, antisemitism, and imperialism.

Arendt, Hannah. Crises of the Republic; Lying in Politics, Civil Disobedience on Violence, Thoughts on Politics, and Revolution. New York: HMH Books, 1972.

A series of essays dealing with deception in politics, opposition movements, and the interconnectedness of power and violence.

Martini, Alice, Kieran Ford and Richard Jackson. Encountering extremism Theoretical issues and local challenges. Manchester University Press, 2020.

Countering extremism is starting to receive more attention as a subject of research in academia and policy circles alike, demonstrating its rising popularity within the market. Nevertheless, the market currently lacks literature on the topic of extremism (as opposed to terrorism), and critical approaches in particular. The concept of this book thus grows from the need to look at the under-researched approaches to the topic from a critical perspective. This book brings together a set of scholars from a diverse range of countries, experts in many fields of social sciences to present valuable multidisciplinary analysis of both theoretical and practical aspects related to countering extremism.

Ali, Nadya. “Seeing and Unseeing Prevent’s Racialized Borders.” Security Dialogue 51, no. 6 (2020): 579-96.

This article provides a re-theorization of the Prevent strategy as racialized bordering. It explores how knowledge regarding the racist logics of British counter-terrorism are supressed through structures of white ignorance and how International Relations scholarship is implicated in this tendency to ‘whitewash’ Prevent’s racism. Muslim difference is hypervisibilized or seen as potentially threatening and coded as part of racialized symptoms which constitute radicalization and extremism. This article shows how the racial bordering of Prevent sustains violence perpetrated by white supremacists, which is subsequently ‘unseen’ through the case of Thomas Mair.

Holmes, Harry. “Martial Mining – The link between warfare and resource extraction.” London Mining Network, 2020.

This report investigates the link between militarism, extractivism and climate change are intimately linked. The framework of ‘martial mining’ aims to shed light on the ways in which extractivism is fundamentally a militarized process of violent community dispossession, while militarism is fundamentally an extractive process that depends on vast natural resources.

Finchelstein, Federico. A Brief History of Fascist Lies. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2020.

Historian Federico Finchelstein explains why fascists regarded simple and often hateful lies as truth, and why so many of their followers believed the falsehoods. Throughout the history of the twentieth century, many supporters of fascist ideologies regarded political lies as truth incarnated in their leader. From Hitler to Mussolini, fascist leaders capitalized on lies as the base of their power and popular sovereignty.

Finchelstein, Federico. From Fascism to Populism in History. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2019.

This text is used to study the differences between the ideas of populism and fascism in theory and in practice. Special attention is given to case studies in Latin America.


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