A settler society’s exonegous alterity: Adrian A. Smith, ‘Troubling “Project Canada”: the Caribbean and the making of “unfree migrant labor”‘, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2015
Abstract: Despite persistent denials, Canada’s relationship to the Caribbean is fraught with concerns about imperialism and racism. While we have experienced a resurgence in “critical” theorizing on capitalist imperialism, including a focus on Canada’s place in global affairs, these interventions fail to meaningfully address labor migration. In taking seriously the racism–imperialism nexus in the context of Canadian–Caribbean relations, I argue that the Canadian state is an imperialist state which has sought to secure an empire abroad through its approach to agricultural labor migration from the Caribbean. Focused on the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, I show how migrant labor unfreedom is organized through the modern national state system and uneven development, understood in the racialized context of neoliberal capitalist globalization. The deployment of Caribbean seasonal agricultural labor in Canada functions through transnational regulation rooted in the socio-historico-legal development of the Caribbean and Canada as longstanding – yet unequal – sites of production of politico-legal authority and unfree labor.
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