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"The Security Archipelago is a singular book by a unique scholar. Paul Amar works in English, Arabic, and Portuguese, and he studies security regimes in a comparative framework encompassing the Middle East, North and South America, and Europe. Combining research that he has done in Brazil and Egypt on the emergence of new forms of security and new grammars of protest politics with the unfolding stories of an economic boom in Brazil and political change in Egypt, Amar has written an up-to-the-moment account of the 'human-security state' and its opponents."—Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure
"An extraordinary book that revolutionizes the way to think about security, undermines conventional wisdom, and offers us a wonderfully lucid study of an obscure subject-matter, including detailed inquiry into state/society relations in Egypt and Brazil. Among many contributions is the brilliant depiction of the evolving interface between state security (its visible and invisible apparatus) and people subject to its control, including a fascinating account of the sexualization of politics as an emergent dimension of both oppression and resistance. A must-read!"—Richard Falk, coauthor of The Path to Zero: Dialogues on Nuclear Dangers
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In The Security Archipelago, Paul Amar provides an alternative historical and theoretical framing of the refashioning of free-market states and the rise of humanitarian security regimes in the Global South by examining the pivotal, trendsetting cases of Brazil and Egypt. Addressing gaps in the study of neoliberalism and biopolitics, Amar describes how coercive security operations and cultural rescue campaigns confronting waves of resistance have appropriated progressive, antimarket discourses around morality, sexuality, and labor. The products of these struggles—including powerful new police practices, religious politics, sexuality identifications, and gender normativities—have traveled across an archipelago, a metaphorical island chain of what the global security industry calls "hot spots." Homing in on Cairo and Rio de Janeiro, Amar reveals the innovative resistances and unexpected alliances that have coalesced in new polities emerging from the Arab Spring and South America's Pink Tide. These have generated a shared modern governance model that he terms the "human-security state."