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Militarization via Education

A 1945 Primer from Socialist Macedonia

Darko Leitner-Stojanov

This article examines the textual and visual content of the first postwar primer in socialist Yugoslav Macedonia in order to understand the messages that it contains relating to techniques of militarization. After outlining the historical context in which this primer was developed, with reference to teachers’ memories and archival sources, the article analyzes the role of teaching materials in connection with the experience of the Second World War and the politics of the new communist state. This content analysis identifies six militaristic messages and values communicated to the pupils, who are addressed as future soldiers.

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Olesya Khromeychuk

Much historiography focusing on women in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army consists of describing, rediscovering, and celebrating the participation of women in the nationalist underground. This article rejects the celebratory approach to the inclusion of women in the narrative of the nationalist struggle. Instead, it focuses on the ways in which militarization of women was carried out by the nationalists from the 1930s to the 1950s. The article argues that the nationalist leadership was able to militarize a large number of women because no viable alternative to the nationalist state-building project was offered at the time, and because the nationalists propagated a conservative type of femininity that did not threaten traditional gender norms. By exploring the movement’s construction, control, and use of femininity, the article argues that deviations from traditional gender roles occurred only within the limits of, and for the benefit of, nationalist militarization.

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Staging "small, small incidents"

Dissent, gender, and militarization among young people in Kashmir

Thomas van der Molen and Ellen Bal

In this article, we reflect on the gendered contours of young Kashmiris’ dissident practices against the Indian military occupation of the Kashmir Valley. It is largely based on ethnographic research that coincided with the launch of an ongoing, predominantly nonviolent people’s movement in which youth have played a prominent role. The article shows how university students’ and young professionals’ “small activism” is entangled in the gendered dynamics of militarization and dissent, while underlining the threat posed by “security forces” to women’s “honor” and “dignity.” In the context of widespread societal anxiety about “dishonor,” young Kashmiris’ urge to reclaim dignity at once motivates them to practice dissent and narrows the scope for female dissidents’ capacity to act upon this drive overtly. The present case suggests that recent anthropological interest in global youth cultural practices may be supplemented with a recognition of local constraints on young people’s public opposition that arise in circumstances of (gendered) state oppression.

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A Time without Soldiers

Writing about Kashmir Today

Suvir Kaul

In this article I ask what it means to turn to scholarly analysis to understand better the historical lineages of an urgent contemporary political situation. I first wrote on Kashmir in a journalistic fashion because I was appalled by the militarization and routine suspension of civil rights that I saw when I went there in 2003. Since then I have been thinking of analytical frames in which to provide a longer history for the political mess I observed and continue to observe, which leads me to read in the “field“ in order to understand issues as they developed before 1989—when militancy in Kashmir broke out. What limits on my understanding are put in place by my early writing, which was motivated by sorrow and anger, rather than by the criteria that we expect motivates historical analysis? What kinds of insight are enabled by that same beginning?

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US–México border states and the US military–industrial complex

A Global Space for expanding transnational capital

Juan Manuel Sandoval Palacios

English abstract: At the beginning of the 1980s a new Global Space for the expansion of transnational capital emerged in the US–Mexico Border States. The militarization and securitization of that border were justified by government policies aimed at stopping irregular immigration, drug traffic, and terrorism. In 1991 the US Congress approved the creation of a new Defense Industrial and Technology Base (DITB), which would benefit the Gun Belt linked to the Military-Industrial Complex; and in 1992 the Department of Defense (DoD) proposed to establish a Defense Reserve Industrial Base Program (DRIB), the location for which would be within the existing production-sharing centers along the US–Mexico Border. Both, the DITB and the DRIB, would take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and transnational arms corporations established or expanded their facilities in the Global Space that has been created along the Mexico–US Border. This article examines this process.

Spanish abstract: A principios de los años ochenta surgió un nuevo Espacio Global para la expansión del capital transnacional en los estados fronterizos de Estados Unidos y México. La militarización y la securitización de esta frontera ha sido justificada por estrategias para detener la inmigración irregular, el narcotráfico y el terrorismo. En 1991 el Congreso de los Estados Unidos aprobó la creación de una nueva Base de Tecnología y Defensa Industrial (DITB) que beneficiaría al llamado Cinturón de Armas ligado al Complejo Militar-Industrial; y en 1992 el Departamento de Defensa (DoD) propuso la creación del Programa de Base Industrial de la Reserva de Defensa (DRIB), cuya ubicación estaría dentro de los centros de producción compartida a lo largo de la frontera México–Estados Unidos. Tanto el DITB como el DRIB aprovecharían el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN), y las corporaciones transnacionales de armamentos establecerían o expanderían sus instalaciones en el Espacio Global creado a lo largo de la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Este artículo examina este proceso.

French abstract: Au début des annéesquatre-vingt, un nouvel Espace Global pour l’expansion du capital transnational surgit à la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Mexique. Depuis, la militarisation et la sécuritisation de cette frontière a été justifiée par des stratégies pour contenir la migration clandestine, le traffic de drogue et le terrorisme. Cependant, ces processus protègent et supportent également cet espace global, qui est lié au “ceinturon armé” qui a surgit durant l’administration Reagan. Depuis cette époque, des propositions ont été présentées au Congrès des États-Unis pour établir une nouvelle Base de Technologie et de Défense Industrielle (DITB selon ses sigles en anglais), qui serait bénéfique pour la ceinturon armé ainsi qu’un Programme de Base Industrielle de la Réserve de Défense (DRIB en anglais) dont la localisation a été proposée tout au long de la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Cet article étudie comment le DITB et le DRIB ont évolué dans le contexte de l’Accord de Libre Échange Nord-Américain (ALÉNA) et ont permis à des corporations transnationales d’armes d’établir ou de renforcer des installations dans l’Espace Global qui a été créé tout au long de la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Cette article examine ce processus.

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Materialities, Histories, and the Spatialization of State Sovereignty

Valentina Napolitano, Nimrod Luz and Nurit Stadler

In the introduction to this special section of Religion and Society, we discuss existing and potentially new intersections of border theories and religious studies in relation to two contested regions—US-Mexico and Israel-Palestine (as part of the history of the Levant)—respectively. We argue for a recentering of borderland studies through an analysis of political theologies, affective labor, and differing configurations of religious heritage, traces, and materiality. We thus define 'borderlands' as translocal phenomena that emerge due to situated political/economic and affective junctures and that amplify not only translocal but also transnational prisms. To explore these issues, we put into dialogue studies on religion, borderlands, walls, and historical/contemporary conditions in the context of US-Mexico and Israel-Palestine borders. In particular, we argue for recentering analyses in light of intensifications of state control and growing militarization in contested areas.

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Militarized Democracies

The Neoliberal Mexican State and the Chiapas Uprising

Heidi Moksnes

The neoliberal state, this article argues, displays structural contradictions between the need to create economic stability and the demand to display democratic structures where the human rights of the citizens are respected. As the discourse of human rights is increasingly used also by marginalized groups, the apparent convergence in human rights objectives may be a dangerous illusion.

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Andrew K. Jorgenson, Brett Clark and Jennifer E. Givens

Drawing from emergent areas of sociological research and theorization, the authors consider the environmental impacts of militaries from a comparative-international perspective. The article begins with an overview of treadmill of production and treadmill of destruction theories, the latter of which highlights the expansionary tendencies and concomitant environmental consequences of militarization. This theoretical overview is followed by a narrative assessment of military growth and energy consumption, with a particular focus on the US military over the past century. Next, the authors detail the various environmental impacts associated with the growth and structure of national militaries, briefly discuss potential future research directions, and conclude by calling for scholars in future studies on society/nature relationships to seriously consider the environmental and ecological impacts of the world's militaries.

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Muhammad Ayaz Naseem

This article examines the textual constitution of militarism and militaristic subjects in and by educational discourse in Pakistan. The article focuses on two subjects, namely social studies and Urdu, which are taught in the public school system of Pakistan. In order to examine the constitution of militaristic subjectivities, the author draws upon concepts of poststructuralist theory and critical discourse analysis. The author's main argument is that it is vital to first deconstruct the constructs of war from the minds of people in order for the constructs of peace to be instilled. There are many sites where such deconstruction needs to begin. One of the likely places for such an exercise is in textbooks, for these are sites in which war and violence are or can be constructed and instilled into the minds of future citizens. These are also natural sites for the construction of defenses of peace, for these spaces harbor agency to resist war and violence. This article examines textual and discursive data from Pakistan's educational discourse (mainly curricula and textbooks) to illustrate how war and militarism are constructed by these discourses via curricula and textbooks.

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Performing humanitarian militarism

Public security and the military in Brazil

Stephanie Savell

This article investigates a case in which the Brazilian military, according to national press, “invaded” and “occupied” a Rio de Janeiro favela neighborhood under the auspices of a public security program. Rio’s “pacification” program aims to replace drug trafficking organizations’ control of favelas with Pacifying Police Units and counts on the occasional participation of the military. Based on research with military personnel and favela residents, I investigate the construction and consequences of the pairing of militarism with humanitarianism. I show how these logics are not opposed, as they might at first sound, but in practice, deeply aligned. Among other reasons, both state force and state caregiving are performances to justify military presence on the streets to audiences in and outside the favela. The visible spectacle of humanitarian militarism effaces abuses and makes light of the everyday fears and insecurities suffered by the urban poor.