Militarism and settler colonialism: Joshua Inwood, Anne Bonds, ‘Confronting White Supremacy and a Militaristic Pedagogy in the U.S. Settler Colonial State’, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 2016


Abstract: We argue that understanding contemporary geographies of race and militarism is predicated on understandings of settler colonialism and white supremacy. Settler colonialism is a continuously unfolding project of empire that is enabled by and through specific racial configurations that are tied to geographies of white supremacy. In a U.S. context, settler colonialism begins with the removal of first peoples from the land and the creation of racialized and gendered labor systems that make the land productive for the colonizers. In this context, settler colonialism is an enduring structure—an interrelated political, social, and economic process that continuously unfolds—requiring continued reconfigurations and interventions by the state. Such a framing connects landscapes of militarism and geopolitics with everyday forms of violence, social difference, and normalized power hierarchies and relationships of oppression. Building from these insights we argue that theorizations of U.S. militarism must be connected to the spatialities of white supremacy and grounded in the U.S. imperial settler state. Finally, we end by engaging with a broader discussion on the ways in which the discipline and academic institutions are complicit in practices that contribute to white supremacy, poverty, inequality, and the continuation of settler colonial practices. For these reasons it is necessary to cultivate a broadly conceived and militantly uncompromising peace agenda premised on antiviolence and the rejection of the racism (and its intersections with gender, class, and sexuality) implicit in the settler colonial state.

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