The New Imperialism

The New Imperialism is the title of both a seminar I offer, and a publication series which I edit and publish. I established Alert Press as a non-profit means of...

The New Imperialism is the title of both a seminar I offer, and a publication series which I edit and publish. I established Alert Press as a non-profit means of publishing student research, following in the tradition established by Concordia University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology in publishing high quality student work as a further incentive to develop research and writing skills for students engaged in knowledge production. See the publisher website for more about the following volumes released thus far, or click on the individual book cover images:

Militarism, Humanism, and Occupation (2010)
The New Imperialism, Volume I

MILITARISM, HUMANISM, AND OCCUPATIONDescribing and theorizing “the new imperialism” in international relations, this volume presents anthropological and sociological viewpoints on the topics of militarism and militarization; humanitarian interventionism; the responsibility to protect; Canada’s role in the occupation of Afghanistan, and the establishment of what is effectively a protectorate in Haiti; the role of NGOs in the formation and management of a new global imperium; and, soft power. Specific case studies are also devoted to the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System; the U.S. Army’s Africa Command (AFRICOM); torture and international law; Coca Cola in Colombia; the NATO war in Kosovo; cultural militarization and “militainment;” and, the rising militarism in Canadian public discourse.

The geographic scope of the volume includes Algeria, Afghanistan, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran, Kosovo, Kuwait, and the United States.

The work as a whole covers global events since the end of the Cold War.

The contributors to the volume, drawn from the research participants in the inaugural seminar on the New Imperialism at Concordia University in 2010, are: Corey Anhorn, Ricky Curotte, Justin De Genova, Zoe Dominiak, Cameron Fenton, Lesley Foster, Thomas Prince, Kate Roland, Mark Shapiro, Nageen Siddiqui, Miles Smart, Katelyn Spidle, Rosalia Stillitano, and Elizabeth Vezina.

The volume includes a preface and introduction by the seminar director and volume editor, Maximilian Forte.

 

Interventionism, Information Warfare, and the Military-Academic Complex (2011)
The New Imperialism, Volume II

INTERVENTIONISM, INFORMATION WARFARE, AND THE MILITARY-ACADEMIC COMPLEXInterventionism
• What are the prospects for humanitarian internationalism under imperial conditions? • Which countries does the U.S. select as targets and what are their characteristics?
• What can we learn about "hard power" from the two wars against Iraq?
• What role did myths play in justifying NATO's war against Libya?

Information Warfare
• What impact has Wikileaks had in changing U.S. foreign policy?
• Has Wikileaks lived up to its promise of "opening governments"?
• What do we learn about torture and U.S. war crimes from Wikileaks' Iraq War Logs?
• What is the role of national rhetoric in the mutual antagonism between Iran and the U.S.?
• Why does the issue of moral hypocrisy matter when it comes to interventions that some justify on humanitarian grounds?
• How does one align torture with the defense of liberal democracy?

The Military-Academic Complex
• What are the processes, patterns, and agents behind the militarization of university research in Canada?
• What is the nature of the militarization of the academy?
• Can academic research be critical and ethical when funded by the military and private defence contractors?

These are just some of the hotly contested questions addressed by the contributors to this, the second volume from our seminar series in The New Imperialism. The contributors to this volume are: Laura Beach, Jessica Cobran, Sabrina Guerrieri, MacLean Hawley, Natalie Jansezian, and Corey Seaton, with an introduction and chapter by the volume editor and several appendices consisting of "classics" in the field by such authors as Randolph Bourne, Smedley Butler, and Mark Twain.

 

EMERGENCY AS SECURITY: Liberal Empire at Home and Abroad
The New Imperialism, Volume III

EMERGENCY AS SECURITYThe New Imperialism, Vol. 3, presents advanced research by some of the participants in the 2013 seminar on the new imperialism, in sociology and anthropology at Concordia University. Chapters in this volume offer some profound theoretical and analytical insights into the history and complexity of contemporary imperialism, as well as developing a useful conceptual vocabulary for analyzing the imperial landscape. This volume’s impressive scope ranges from description and analysis of the historical context of the first “new imperialism,” that of Britain in the late 1880s, along with theorizing the normative, psychological, and socio-economic transformations of neoliberal imperialism and U.S. exceptionalism. Also included are the gender dynamics of militarism; analysis of the “men of the frontier” syndrome; the relationships between paternalism, effeminization, and imperialism; and, even the beginnings of an ambiguous queering of empire. Furthermore, the links between imperialism, ecology, and environmentalism, and the unequal environmental exchange of the contemporary world system, also come into focus. Retrospective analysis of the watershed events surrounding Hurricane Katrina in 2005 raises not only the specter of “humanitarian intervention” (still primarily other- and outward-oriented), but also the rise of the nonprofit-industrial complex. Chapters on the military-industrial complex, on the other hand, address the domestication of militarization in policing and surveillance, the militarization of entertainment media, and the militarization of anthropology. Finally, we consider guidelines for an anti-imperial anthropology.

Contributors to this volume: Philip Capozzi, Max Forte, Élie Jalbert, Kyle McLoughlin, Nathaniel Millington, Angela Noel, Nicole Pas, Gretchen Smith, Julian Stasky, and H. Jordane Struck.

 

GOOD INTENTIONS: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism
The New Imperialism, Volume IV

GOOD INTENTIONSHow do “good intentions” pave the road for empire?

Whether it is iatrogenic violence, voluntourism, the misappropriation of gay rights, or NGOs serving as the Trojan Horses of US dominance and neoliberal social reengineering, contributors to this volume expose and analyze the many ways in which the new imperialism involves partitioning the world into tutors and wards, saviours and victims. Underlying the seduction of imperial elite-lore are established modes of socialization and enculturation, ranging from the elaborate and persistent demonization of chief opponents of US empire to the lionization of military actors commonly rendered as heroes. Also scrutinized in this volume are the domestic social and political costs, reaching as far as the displacement of urban populations to make way for the expansion of the informatic industries of empire, paving the way for the unprecedented dominance of corporations in our daily lives.

How much longer will we continue to buy into projects proclaiming “good intentions”?

Contributors to this volume: Tristan Biehn, Keir Forgie, Max Forte, Mathieu Guerin, Hilary King, John Manicom, Karine Perron, Laura Powell, Émile St-Pierre.

 

FORCE MULTIPLIERS: The Instrumentalities of Imperialism
The New Imperialism, Volume V

FORCE MULTIPLIERSFriends and allies, partners and protégés, extensions and proxies—the vocabulary of US power in the form of multiples of itself has become so entrenched that it rarely attracts attention, and even less so critical commentary. Force multiplication is about “leverage”: using partners and proxies in an expanding network, but where power still remains centralized. Forces are conceptualized in multi-dimensional terms. Anything in the world of cultural systems, social relationships, and material production can become force multipliers for imperialism: food security, oil, electricity, young leaders, aid, social media, NGOs, women’s rights, schoolgirls, democratization, elections, the G8, the European Union, NATO, the IMF, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, AFRICOM, development, policing, borders, and epidemics, among others. This takes us to related conceptualizations of “full-spectrum dominance,” “three-dimensional warfare,” and “interoperability,” in what has become an imperial syndrome. Chapters in this volume present diverse examples of force multiplication, ranging from Plan Colombia to Bulgarian membership in NATO and the US-Israeli relationship, from the New Alliance for Food Security to charitable aid and the control of migration, to the management of secrecy.

Contributors to this volume: John Talbot, Mandela Coupal Dalgleish, Robert Majewski, Lea Marinova, Chloë Blaszkewycz, Iléana Gutnick, and Maximilian C. Forte.

There is also a version of the key arguments of the book presented as a series of slides:

 

About Maximilian Forte

Anthropologist focusing on imperialism, neoliberalism, militarization, "humanitarian intervention," decolonization, Indigenous movements, and other topics in Political Anthropology. In addition, he teaches courses on visual anthropology, media ethnographies, and cultural imperialism. He is a full Professor in the Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. Please direct comments and inquiries to maximilian.forte@concordia.ca