ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Uncertainty, Knowledge, and Violence in Southern Thailand

This article compares competing analytic narratives that seek to account for the ongoing violence in southern Thailand through a focus on their spatial and temporal variations (when did the conflict begin, where is the conflict located, what are its boundaries) in order to draw out their tacit assumptions and implications. This discussion is followed by an examination of local accounts of the nature and causes of violence, accounts which stand at some remove from scholarly analyses, and which offer a very different picture of the state of affairs in this region. The final section returns to the issue of analytic uncertainty to propose that uncertainty and ambiguity are positive features of the political condition of southern Thailand, and to argue that a decline of uncertainty would be a sign of things getting worse.

Challenges from Asia

Asia poses a number of major challenges to US foreign policy, but neither the White House nor the Congress is capable of addressing these challenges.

Torture and 'War on Terror'

There is growing opposition, more ironically, from Republican law-makers, to the George Bush administration's contravention of the Geneva conventions in its "war on terror"

Hooked on Drugs

American public discourse simply cannot accept to what extent drug use, illicit and legal, is now embedded in everyday sociality.

On America's Bandstand

It is finally alright for the desis to come out of their puja rooms and take their place on the American Bandstand. Indian-Americans are no longer the stealth immigration group, but the public attention may be too much to handle.

Primitive Accumulation and Urban Renewal

The urban renewal that is now sweeping across America is based on state actions fixing the cost of factors of production below market value, thereby generating super-profits for the private sector.

Filipinos in the US

The occasion to mark the 100th anniversary of Filipino arrival in the US also offers an opportunity to re-examine imperialism as defined in the American context. The US' aggressive colonisation of former Spanish territories would play a defining role in later foreign policy strategy; colonised populations, for their part, would find themselves deprived for many decades, of several legitimate citizenship rights.

The Contradictory Spaces of Postcolonial Techno-Science

Postcolonial techno-science as a field of enquiry that crosses geopolitical boundaries as it tracks flows, circuits of scientists, knowledges, machines, and techniques is a critical way of thinking about science and technology and their study that we can endorse with much enthusiasm. But when the postcolonial as a mode of analysis is linked to a fixed site of irreducible knowledge claims, it articulates an ontology that ties knowledge to location as a singular and essential quality of place. Location matters: by refusing to isolate the South from the West in the study of science, one leaves open the possibility of seeing multi-directional influences and channels simultaneously. Postcolonial science studies need a proliferation of historical and sociological accounts of science as practice in order to set a standard against which we can more easily identify "Indian Science" as a discourse that shapes a political struggle that has little to do with science studies, even if it has much to do with India.

US Imperialism and the Iraq War

The occupation of Iraq and the political geography of US military bases are not different manifestations of a common project. The latter is a vital component of the long-term strategy of US imperialism, allied far more intimately with the needs and conditions of global capitalism. The Iraq occupation is the product of a more immediate and successful power grab by powerfully organised ideologues, drawing their sustenance from the most regressive elements of western political philosophy. Even as the Iraq project will be undone in the years to come, 'baseworld' will remain.

Lies that Divide

The class-race divide in the US exposed so clearly by Hurricane Katrina was also buttressed by the annual report released recently by the US Census Bureau. The continuing rise of poverty levels for the fourth year in a row, as the report records, is a severe indictment of the Bush administration's policies of 'compassionate conservatism'.

State of Native Americans

The display of the exhibits and its surrounding text in a new Native American museum in Washington marks the last stand of the politically conscious among the curators and the museum makes its point well. However, the exhibits and indeed the entire museum give the impression of a rich if troubled and complex past which is no longer a burning issue.

South Asian Events of 1971

Recently released US state department documents of 1971 present a detailed micro view of the events of a year which saw the creation of Bangladesh with the partition of Pakistan, India's emergence as a regional power and the US opening to China. Seeing the trees up close forms a useful counterpoint to structural analysis, but the state department evidence tends to overemphasise individual and personality factors. We need multiple sources of accounts of the events of 1971 which can help reconstruct the historical record of that crucial period.


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