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Abstracts for Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006):
Immigration Rights and National Insecurity
This article begins to assess the magnitude and outlines of some possible future reverberations of the great immigration battle of 2006, in which millions of demonstrators, primarily but not exclusively Latinos, marched in dozens of cities and communities throughout the U.S. in response to proposed federal legislation that would criminalize as aggravated felons and deport the 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working here. Jonas details a decade of unprecedented abuse and punishment of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, in the form of immigration, welfare, and anti-terrorism legislation that have created a national security regime for immigrants. Despite actions of all three branches of government that have constrained the rights and paths toward citizenship for immigrants, and a general xenophobic mood issuing from the media and restrictionist academics, the public is divided on the issue. Jonas argues that it is necessary to adopt a regional (hemispheric) framework, in which the U.S. is seen as the northern zone of the Americas. Thus, incorporation of Latino migrants through legalization would be a much more realistic and stabilizing approach than the exclusionary, nativist, racializing rejections that maintain their undocumented status and then blame them for being undocumented.
Key words: immigration, immigrant rights movement, social movements, H.R. 4437, criminalization, guest worker program, militarization of the border
Noborder: Games With(out) Frontiers
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 21-39. Buy PDF
Just as states in Europe are now pursuing new strategies of migration control, political activists are improvising new forms of protest. This article examines the political intervention associated with the noborder network. Noborder acts in solidarity with migrants and refugees, and calls for the opening of all borders. It has coordinated such actions as demonstrations at refugee detention centers, the exposure of the role of corporate airlines in the economy of deportation, and border camping at the frontiers of the E.U. The article pays special attention to this latter activity, arguing that "noborder camps" belong to a genre of transgressive spatial practices that also includes the peace camp and the environmental camp.
Key words: migration, resistance, European Union, protest camps, contentious politics, borders, no borders, activism, social movements
Giving Critical Context to the Deportee Phenomenon
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 40-56. Buy PDF
Public opinion in the Caribbean has in recent years linked the region’s soaring crime problem to waves of former emigrants being forcibly returned home from countries of the North--mainly Britain, Canada, and the United States. Select findings from a study of deportations to Jamaica from the U.S. are reported here. The findings counter the widespread belief that deportees returned to Jamaica and other Caribbean nations are essentially hardened, violent criminals, who then, based on this profile, contribute disproportionately to their receiving countries’ high levels of crime. But neither the study, nor the portion of its findings presented here, "absolves" the U.S. of responsibility for what has developed into a regional problem. Rather, they reveal the effects of a "culture of control" on developments on U.S. immigration law and policy. The article further reports preliminary findings from follow-up survey of deportees in Jamaica trying to cope with the challenge of reintegration.
This article offers an antiracist class analysis of the contemporary war on drugs in Canada. It situates this war within the state’s historic role of imposing bourgeois order and discipline in immigrant communities. In the eyes of the state, drugs associated with non-British immigrant communities -- cannabis, opiates, and cocaine, for example -- represent signs of disorder, an either festive or financial alternative to market relations. This war has intensified in the period of neoliberalism, as Canada has become even more dependant on cheap immigrant labor from the Global South. After looking at the historical emergence of the drug war, the article will explore its contemporary form, drawing out its most salient patterns and relating them to the demands of neoliberalism. Finally, it will look specifically at the criminalization of khat, and with it the Somalian community in Toronto.
Key words: Canada, war on drugs, neoliberalism, antiracist Marxism, the state, khat, policing, immigration, opiates, cannabis, cocaine
Lifetime Felony Disenfranchisement in Florida, Texas, and Iowa: Symbolic and Instrumental Law
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 79-94. Buy PDF
This is a historical study of lifetime felony disenfranchisement (LFD) in Iowa. Such laws typically had their origins in attempts to prohibit black voting in the Deep South after the Civil War, and currently still demonstrate a considerable capacity for depriving African Americans of the vote, Florida being the most infamous case. Curiously, Texas abolished its LFD law in the 1980s. In addition, Iowa maintains its LFD law despite its relatively progressive racial history. The distinction between instrumental and symbolic law is drawn on to explain the origins and maintenance of this legislation in Iowa, in the social context of the post-Civil Rights era and its color-blind racism.
Key words: lifetime felony disenfranchisement, symbolic law, race, color-blind racism, voting rights, Iowa, Florida, Texas
Securing the Homeland: Torture, Preparedness, and the Right to Let Die
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 95-105. Buy PDF
Despite efforts by the U.S. to achieve national security, and perhaps because of these efforts, conditions of vast human insecurity persist. The discursive terrain of security is marked by extreme actions, such as torture, and absolute threats, such as avian flu pandemics. Rationalizations for torture signal an effort to ameliorate concerns about and cultivate support for the "war on terror." Similarly, disaster preparedness plans construct an ideal type of citizen-soldier in the ongoing battle of securing the homeland. These discourses usher in a mode of governance predicated upon militarized states, individual responsibility, and the right to let others die.
Key words: homeland security, preparedness, neoliberalism, inequality, torture, avian flu, Hurricane Katrina, war on terror
Dirty Wars: On the Unacceptability of Torture -- A Conversation
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 106-131. Buy PDF
An activist who experienced torture in an Argentina prison in 1974 speaks out against the participation of U.S. military forces in similar acts at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo. She concludes that the fight for human rights and social justice must be intensified, and that political institutions in which torture is forever banned must be established.
Key words: U.S. torture, violation of international law, Dirty War in Argentina, Operation Condor, activism
The American Culture of Torture: A Review Essay
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 132-137. Buy PDF
The two books reviewed by Weiss -- Rebecca Lemov's World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men and Alfred W. McCoy's A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror -- explore torture as it has evolved through its physical and psychological forms via an "American science of interrogation," and as a form of counterterrorism that carries enormous moral and political costs.
This review of Frederick H. Gareau's State Terrorism and the United States: From Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism looks at U.S. foreign involvement from the Cold War onward to reveal its systematic state terrorism, sponsorship of repressive right-wing regimes and dictatorships, and ultimately its complicity in the murder of millions of human beings.
This article identifies some significant developments relating to the recent emergence of a criminology of crimes of the state, with special emphasis upon the work of U.S. criminologists. First, the origins of a criminology of crimes of the state are explored, including the fundamental conceptual and definitional issues relating to crimes of the state and key contributions to the literature. The interrelationship of a criminology of crimes of the state with cognate areas of criminological inquiry (e.g., corporate crime, state-corporate crime, finance crime, and crimes of globalization) and with other areas in the field is delineated. Finally, there is a brief discussion of sources of resistance to the recognition of and engagement with state crime. The authors then offer an agenda of criminology of crimes of the state. A central premise is that in a globalized, increasingly interconnected world, criminologists must increasingly attend to crimes of the state, and the complex of effects such crimes have on a range of other forms of crime.
Key words: state crime, globalization, international control, crimes of globalization
Systematic Crimes of the Powerful: Criminal Aspects of the Global Economy
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 1 (2006): 162-182. Buy PDF
This article examines the history and practice of three International Financial Institutions: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. These institutions are argued to systematically prejudice developing countries in their provision of favorable trading conditions for capitalists from developed countries. The routine output of the institutional structures that constitute and enforce the rules of the global economy is massive poverty and avoidable death. To address the question whether these outcomes can be said to be the result of a "systematic" crime committed by the powerful states that designed the institutions in question, and continue to control them, relevant provisions of the domestic criminal law of England and Wales are considered. It is suggested that the values these laws enshrine, enacted by the state with the implication of their universalism, are routinely ignored in relation to the harmful effects of the international trade and finance norms studied here.
The author reviews two important books about eugenics: Kuntz and Bachrach's Deadly Medicine, which examines the Nazi regime's use of "racial science," and Stern's Eugenic Nation, which covers the movement that provided the scientific and medical underpinnings of American racism and sexism. The review warns that although the Nazi experience temporarily discredited the eugenics movement, it was repackaged in the 1950s in the form of population control and neoconservative gender politics.
This essay concerns Mexico's still contested and unsettled 2006 presidential election. The author, who was in Mexico at the time of the vote, contrasts her experience there with the abysmally low level of protest in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, which the conservative Supreme Court handed to the Republican Party without a proper recount.
Key words: Mexico, electoral fraud
Copyright © 2006 by Social Justice.