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Alke Jenss in dialogue about her book "Selective Security in the War on Drugs"

As part of the video series "In Dialogue" of the network "Postcolonial Hierarchies in Peace and Conflict", interviews with experts dealing with (de)colonial and postcolonial approaches to peace and conflict are published. The dialogues problematize issues of knowledge production related to the study of violence, peacebuilding, critical security studies, memory, and transformative justice in postcolonial contexts. One of the main goals is to understand the epistemic hierarchies in which academic knowledge production is embedded, while opening a space for dialogue between different epistemologies (forms and ways of knowing) both within and outside academia.

In her new video Alke Jenss provides an overview of her recent book „Selective Security in the War on DrugsThe Coloniality of State Power in Colombia and Mexico.“ Her work interweaves and expands debates on authoritarian neoliberalism and the coloniality of state power. In doing so, it provides a unique theoretical perspective to study state security practices in the context of the so-called war on drugs in Latin America.



The publishers about the book:

Paramilitaries, crime, and tens of thousands of disappeared persons—the so-called war on drugs has perpetuated violence in Latin America, at times precisely in regions of economic growth. Legal and illegal economy are difficult to distinguish. A failure of state institutions to provide security for its citizens does not sufficiently explain this.

Selective Security in the War on Drugs analyzes authoritarian neoliberalism in the war on drugs in Colombia and Mexico. It interprets the “security projects” of the 2000s—when the security provided by the state became ever more selective—as embedded in processes of land appropriation, transformed property relations, and global capital accumulation. By zooming in on security practices in Colombia and Mexico in that decade and juxtaposing the two contexts, this book offers a detailed analysis of the role of the state in violence. To what extent and for whom do states produce order and disorder? Which social forces support and drive such state practices?

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