Category Archives: Elites

Narco-Geographies, Part III: Urban Speculation and Spectacle

(Final post in a three-part series, Part I, Part II)  The policies that have made Panama into a commercial and financial global entrepôt have also made this small country into an ideal beachhead for entrepreneurial narcotraffickers. The seemingly ethereal nature … Continue reading

Posted in City, Development, Drugs, Elites, Guy Debord, Illegality, Political Economy, Spatiality, Spectacle | Comments Off on Narco-Geographies, Part III: Urban Speculation and Spectacle

Narco-Geographies, Part I: HSBC and Global Money Laundering

Britain’s biggest bank, HSBC, recently agreed to a record $1.92 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over charges that it laundered billions of dollars tied to Latin American drug cartels, so-called “rogue states,” and foreign terrorist organizations. Although the U.S. Department … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, Elites, Illegality, Networks, Political Economy, Scale, Security, Violence | 2 Comments

Everyday State Formation

I have a new article that was just published in the most recent issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space titled, “Everyday State Formation: Territory, Decentralization, and the Narco Land-Grab.” The lag between writing and printing, of course, … Continue reading

Posted in Antonio Gramsci, Development, Drugs, Elites, Everyday Life, Hegemony, Henri Lefebvre, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Karl Marx, Land, Law, Marxism, Primitive Accumulation, Spatiality, Territory, The State, Violence | Comments Off on Everyday State Formation

¡General Strike! Oakland Walks

Today. A General Strike. Oakland will become liberated territory. I will be in Oakland with many many people. I read a great post this morning on what a “General Strike” actually means. The post draws on Walter Benjamin and Rosa … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, City, Dialectics, Elites, Everyday Life, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Pirates, Power, Violence | Comments Off on ¡General Strike! Oakland Walks

Against Spectacle? “Crises” and the Infographic

So there’s been a lot of interesting infographics published recently that help visually represent a host of contemporary issue and crises: from Euro Debt, U.S. income inequality, and the increasingly consolidated power of corporations and banks, to the Afghan quagmire … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, Bandits, Critique, Elites, Everyday Life, Guy Debord, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Networks, Political Economy, Power, Spectacle, Violence | 2 Comments

Geographies of the Outlaw

The word “outlaw”—outside of the law—implicitly articulates the intimate relationship between geography and the law. From the perspective of state-makers and capitalists, the groups of outlaws I’m collectively labeling “Motley Crews” (as a shorthand) pose a grave ideological and spatial … Continue reading

Posted in Bandits, Carl Schmitt, Drugs, Elites, Forests, Frontiers, Gender, Historical-Geographies, Illegality, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Karl Marx, Land, Law, Michel Foucault, Networks, Pirates, Post-Colonial, Power, Primitive Accumulation, Sovereignty, Spatiality, Territory, Terror, The Body, The Sea, The State, Violence | Comments Off on Geographies of the Outlaw

Global Outlaws

Nordstrom, Carolyn. 2007. Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World. Berkeley: University of California Press. Carolyn Nordstrom’s book is an ethnography about the extra-legal, as she calls them, flows and networks, which she sees as constituting a … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, Elites, Forests, Frontiers, Illegality, Law, Networks, Power, Scale, Sovereignty, Spatiality, The Sea, The State | Comments Off on Global Outlaws

The Sicilian Mafia

Gambetta, Diego. 1996. The Sicilian Mafia: The Business of Private Protection. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Diego Gambetta’s hugely important book conceptualizes the Sicilian mafia as not an organization but as an industry that’s in the business of producing, promoting, and … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, City, Drugs, Elites, Illegality, Law, Political Economy, Scale, The State, Violence | Comments Off on The Sicilian Mafia


Brittain-Catlin, William. 2005. Offshore: The Dark Side of the Global Economy. New York: Picador. This impressive book by William Brittain-Catlin tells the story of the vast “offshore” world that forms an integral—if unacknowledged—part in the globe’s financial architecture. The offshore … Continue reading

Posted in Elites, Illegality, Law, Networks, Sovereignty, Territory, The State | 2 Comments

The Global Criminal Economy

Castells, Manuel. 2000. “The Perverse Connection: The Global Criminal Economy.” In End of Millennium, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Vol. III. Oxford: Blackwell. [Chapter 3] Manuel Castells sums up the scope, scale, and importance of the global criminal … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, Elites, Illegality, Law, Networks, Political Economy, Scale, The State | 1 Comment