New Book Explores Border Conflicts in North America
Laurence Armand French, senior researcher and affiliate professor of justice studies, has published a new book, co–written with Magdaleno Manzanarez, professor of political science at Western New Mexico University, titled “North American Border Conflicts: Race, Politics, and Ethics” (CRC Press, 2016).
“North American Border Conflicts” examines border conflicts from their beginnings at European settlement and aboriginal tribe contact to the ensuing colonial border battles, the emerging United States and its expansionist mandate, and the neocolonial conflicts of the 20th century. The book explores 21st century border issues such as post-9/11 policies that impact North American and Canadian border Indian tribes and the drug and human trafficking concerns at the Mexico-U.S. border. "North American Border Conflicts" adds to the current discussion on class, race, ethnic and sectarian divides, not only within the United States but throughout the Americas in general. In an increasingly global world, the text offers insight into issues among and between neighboring nations.
The history and geopolitics explored by "North American Border Conflicts" are particularly pertinent at this moment in United States history as federal government concern over border security has increased.
"North American border issues are complex," says French. "They cannot be easily dismissed by inflammatory rhetoric claiming simple solutions that will supposedly immediately change the landscape of interactions that extend to the beginning of U.S. independence.
"'Nationalism' is often associated with sectarian/ethnic elitism and is a dangerous foreign policy construct — look at the recent Balkan wars," adds French. "Everyone who lives in this hemisphere is 'American' and if preference and consideration is given to any group, it should be the 'indigenous' Americans."
French and Manzanarez have researched collaboratively for the past 20 years in the areas of international relations, social justice, and minority issues with a particular focus on indigenous Indian groups. In 2004, they co-authored "NAFTA and Neocolonialism: Comparative Criminal, Human, and Social Justice" (University Press of America).