“The Relation of Military Forces”: Racism, Capitalism, and Imperialism in an Era of Permanent War

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 49
Organizers: Jennifer Greenburg, Jordan Camp
Chairs: Jennifer Greenburg


In his Prison Notebooks, Italian communist theorist Antonio Gramsci described the task of historico-geographical materialism as to analyze the concrete relationships between the political, economic, ideological, and counterinsurgent forces in specific historical and geographical contexts. In particular, Gramsci argued that the situation could only be understood with precision by analyzing the specific “relations of force” at “various levels,” which include the economic, political, and military forces within a society. This session will focus on Gramsci’s third “moment” of “the relation of military forces, which from time to time is directly decisive.” Following Gramsci’s consideration of the military as “the permanent reserves of order and conservation,” this session will focus on what sort of lens Gramscian geographies may provide onto what Aijaz Ahmad calls the “imperialism of our time.” In this AAG session, we hope to better understand the “military relation of force” as it has been formed through racism, gender, and other forms of difference within the political economy of capitalist imperialism. Paper topics include: counterinsurgency, racist constructions of the enemy, historical geographies of militarism, social movements, imperialism, foreign wars and domestic racialization, the role of the military in Marxist and Gramscian critiques of political economy, and urban geography.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Discussant Kevin Surprise Mount Holyoke College 15 1:30 PM
Presenter Takashi Yamazaki*, Osaka City University, De/Re-militarizing the Pacific Island: Post-/Colonial Manifestations of Geopolitical Forces in Okinawa, Japan 15 1:45 PM
Presenter Jennifer Greenburg*, Stanford University, Jordan Camp, Harvard University , Counterinsurgency Reexamined: Racism, Capitalism, and U.S. Military Doctrine 15 2:00 PM
Presenter Jordan Camp*, Visting Scholar,Center for Place, Culture, and Politics CUNY Graduate Center, Counterinsurgency Reexamined: Racism, Capitalism, and U.S. Military Doctrine 15 2:15 PM

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