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The Haiti ExceptionAnthropology and the Predicaments of Narrative$
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Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Jhon Picard Byron, Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, Mark Schuller, and Jhon Picard Byron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382998

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382998.001.0001

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Haiti, Politics and Sovereign (Mis)recognitions

Haiti, Politics and Sovereign (Mis)recognitions

(p.137) Haiti, Politics and Sovereign (Mis)recognitions
The Haiti Exception

Deborah A. Thomas

Liverpool University Press

This chapter outlines the obstacles presented by the state and its avatars — from globalizing corporate structures to nongovernmental organizations, foreign governments, neoliberal economic programmes and local political machines — vis-à-vis the expression and recognition of the nation's needs and interests. The chapter considers questions of nationalist integration, peasant incorporation and global developmentalism as well as the anthropology of the Caribbean peasantry from the 1930s to 1950s. It also examines the question of sovereignty and the role of peasants in nation-building in the British West Indies. From the perspective of a scholar concerned with issues of structural state violence within the Jamaican national context, the chapter rejects a priori the notion of Haiti's singular political failure and positions Haiti and Jamaica within the same generative analytical frame. Finally, it draws on the work of anthropologists such as Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Sidney Mintz, Melville Herskovitz and Jean Price-Mars in order to better understand the relationship between nationalist discourse and peasant cultural appropriation.

Keywords:   state, developmentalism, Caribbean, sovereignty, peasantry, nation-building, British West Indies, state violence, Jamaica, Haiti

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