Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti

Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti

Paperback California Series in Public Anthropology

By (author) Erica James

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 25mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 14 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520260546
  • ISBN 13: 9780520260542
  • Illustrations note: 8 b/w photographs
  • Sales rank: 168,251

Product description

"Democratic Insecurities" focuses on the ethics of military and humanitarian intervention in Haiti, during and after Haiti's 1991 coup. In this remarkable ethnography of violence, Erica Caple James explores the traumas of Haitian victims whose experiences were denied by U.S. officials and recognized only selectively by other humanitarian providers. Using vivid first-person accounts from women survivors, James raises important new questions about humanitarian aid, structural violence, and political insecurity. She discusses the politics of postconflict assistance to Haiti and the challenges of promoting democracy, human rights, and justice in societies that experience chronic insecurity. Similarly, she finds that efforts to promote political development and psychosocial rehabilitation may fail because of competition, strife, and corruption among the individuals and institutions that implement such initiatives.

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Author information

Erica Caple James is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Review quote

"Highly recommended... by highlighting the vivi first-person accounts of female survivors, the author raises important questions about humanitarian aid, structural violence, and political insecurity, while simultaneously outlining some of the ethical quandaries arising from the uses and abuses of power." Choice 20110504 "Her account is both brave and unsettling... Not only instructive for anthropologists ... but also for humanitarian aid providers who momentarily work or are planning to work in Haiti." -- Hanna Kienzler Somatosphere 20110522 "[This] is one of the most important books on the country published in years... It radiates intelligence and understanding." Journal Of Sociology & Social Welfare 20110914

Table of contents

Contents List of Abbreviations List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: Democracy, Insecurity, and the Commodification of Suffering 1. The Terror Apparatus 2. The Aid Apparatus and the Politics of Victimization 3. Routines of Rupture and Spaces of (In)Security 4. Double Binds in Audit Cultures 5. Bureaucraft, Accusations, and the Social Life of Aid 6. Sovereign Rule, Ensekirite, and Death 7. The Tyranny of the Gift Notes Glossary Bibliography Index