The global war on terror has precipitated an emergent world order of militarized apartheid - a loosely integrated effort by countries in the global north to protect themselves against the mobility of people from the global south while consolidating racialized labor hierarchies. Militarized security empires are emerging from and shoring up global apartheid, based in the identification and containment of “risky” bodies throughout the globe in concert with the expansion of securitized spaces produced through material, affective, and ontological expressions of militarism by the global north. These emergent imperial formations are spatial and technological rather than territorial, and they are taking shape through imperial projects that racialize and incarcerate people while securing cosmopolitan class privilege and capitalist extraction across borders.

Catherine Besteman teaches Anthropology at Colby College. Her recent books include Militarized Global Apartheid (2020), Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine (2016), and the co-edited Life by Algorithms (2019). She is currently coordinating a public humanities project on abolitionist visions called Freedom and Captivity, which will launch this fall.