The practice of archaeologists and other heritage specialists to embed with the US military in Iraq has received critical attention from anthropologists. Scholars have highlighted the dire consequences of such a partnership for cultural heritage protection by invoking the imperialist dimension of archaeological knowledge production. While critical of state power and increasingly of militarized para-state actors like the self-proclaimed Islamic State, these accounts typically eclipse other forms of collaboration with non-state organizations, such as private military and security companies (PMSCs). Focusing on the central role of private contractors in the context of heritage missions in Iraq since 2003, I demonstrate that the war economy's exploitative regime in regions marked by violent conflict is intensified by the growth of the military-industrial complex on a global scale. Drawing on data from interviews conducted with archaeologists working in the Middle East, it becomes clear how archaeology and heritage work prop up the coloniality of power by tying cultural to economic forms of control.
Heritage politics and private military contractors in Iraq
Maria Theresia Starzmann
, how, and with what military, humanitarian, political, and economic goals in mind. These processes hinge on a paradox, however. Landmines do not “exist” except when they cease to exist—that is, explode. Prior to this point, “sleeping soldiers,” as
Project Camelot and the post–World War II operationalization of social science
Philip Y. Kao
realities of power and the politics of knowledge (cf. Gill 2007 ; Lutz 2006 ). Culture may not hold the same military-cum-operational value that it once did during the height of Project Camelot. 2 Nevertheless, the military and various intelligence
The Social Life of Contentious Concepts
Ronald S. Stade
the Cold War. As the Soviet enemy developed nuclear weapons and launched Sputnik, “thinking outside the box” and “thinking the unthinkable” became guiding concepts in US military circles. Today, creative thinking seems like an innocent enough
This article is concerned with Durkheimian sociology’s problematization of war. Such concern is rooted in an appraisal of contemporary social scientific approaches to war and the military, particularly in the recognition that sociology has largely left these issues unexplored. I first attempt to situate the Durkheimian legacy in the current social scientific landscape of war and military studies, especially with regard to research conducted in France and the United States. I then argue, on the basis of Durkheim’s late writings, that he was not altogether oblivious to questions pertaining to the military and war; and that the way in which he addressed these issues was not just, as is often claimed, in a jingoistic mode. This article instead points towards the original analyses that Durkheim provided on the basis of concepts he had developed as early as in the Division of Labour and the centrality of the notion of ‘solidarity’ in his approach.
“Iraq tribal study,” al-Anbar's awakening, and social science
Roberto J. González
The concept of the “tribe” has captured the imagination of military planners, who have been inspired partly by social scientists. Interest in tribes stems from events in Iraq's al-Anbar province, where the US military has co-opted Sunni “tribal” leaders. Some social scientists have capitalized on these developments by doing contract work for the Pentagon. For example, the “Iraq tribal study”—prepared by a private company consisting of anthropologists and political scientists among others—suggests employing colonial-era techniques (such as divide and conquer) for social control. It also advocates bribing local leaders, a method that has become part of the US military's pacification strategy. Such imperial policing techniques are likely to aggravate armed conflict between and among ethnic groups and religious sects. Observers report that the US strategy is creating a dangerous situation resembling the Lebanese civil war, raising ethical questions about social scientists' involvement in these processes.
History, Politics, and Exile Identity among Rwandan Rebels in the Eastern Congo Conflict
This article analyzes how the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is recalled and described by members of a Hutu rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) whose leadership can be linked to the 1994 atrocities in Rwanda. The article explores how individuals belonging to this rebel group, currently operating in the eastern territories of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), articulate, contest, and oppose the dominant narrative of the Rwandan genocide. Based on ethnographic fieldwork with members of the FDLR in a rebel camp, this article shows how a community of exiled fighters and second-generation Hutu refugees contest the official version of genocide by constructing a counterhistory of it. Through organized practices such as political demonstrations and military performances, it further shows how political ideologies and violence are being manufactured and reproduced within a setting of military control.
In August 2008, Georgia launched a large-scale attack to retake control
of South Ossetia, an enclave in the northern part of its territory
that had been trying to break away formally since the late 1980s. In
response, Russia bombed not only military but also civilian targets,
claiming that its intervention was meant to protect Russian citizens.
This quick escalation of events raised concerns about other unresolved
conflicts in the South Caucasus. In fact, within a few days, Russian
troops took control of South Ossetia and were ready to start a second
front in Abkhazia, another separatist area within Georgia.
On 4 February 2005, Giuliana Sgrena, the correspondent of Il Manifesto
in Baghdad, was kidnapped by Islamic Jihad, who asked for
the withdrawal of Italian troops within 72 hours. On 4 March, Nicola
Calipari, an official of the SISMI (Military Intelligence and Security
Service) that ran the operation to liberate the Italian journalist, died
under “friendly fire” at an American checkpoint while he was accompanying
Sgrena to the Baghdad airport. On 29 April, a joint statement
was issued by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American
State Department stating that the two countries “have not reached
shared final conclusions” as to what happened.
New Perspectives on the Politics of the Third Republic
Linda E. Mitchell
The articles in this issue all reflect on the various ways in which political trends during the period of the Third Republic have been categorized by both historians of the period and the political actors themselves. Ranging in topic from political trends in the French military in the years after the Dreyfus Affair to the participation of women in the politics of the extreme Right, these pieces focus especially on the need to transcend categories of Left and Right in order to discuss more accurately the ways in which the political party system developed, in particular during the years between the world wars.