Jennifer Greenburg

Postdoctoral Fellow, Watson Institute for International & Public AffairsBrown University

Award Information

2011 IDRF Program

GeographyUniversity of California / Berkeley

The Weaponization of Humanitarianism: Haitian Geographies of U.S. Militarism

In the course of the War on Terror, US militarism has reconstituted itself as moving "beyond the guns and steel of the military” to a “hearts and minds” approach to US power (Defense Secretary Gates 2007). This dissertation examines the “new” US military humanitarianism through its historical geography in Haiti. I examine contemporary US military humanitarian projects implemented through International Organizations (IOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in relation to US military humanitarian projects during the US occupation of Haiti (1915-1934). My overarching claim is that during its century-long history in Haiti, US military humanitarianism has at key moments been undermined by the contradictory structure of its mission. In attempting to reconcile its foreign and military status with the developmental goals of civic associations in Haiti, the US military has encountered deep contradictions shaped by Haiti’s history of racialized liberation.