“A timely collection of articles by some of the leading and emerging scholars and specialists on Haiti, offering a wide range of critical perspectives on the question and meaning of sovereignty in Haiti.”—Alex Dupuy, coauthor of The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the International Community, and Haiti
“Directly asks the provocative question of ownership and Haitian sovereignty within the post-earthquake moment—an unstable period in which ideas on (re)development, humanitarianism, globalization, militarism, self-determination, and security converge.”—Millery Polyné, author of From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964
“Powerful essays by experts in their fields addressing what matters most to smaller nations—the meaning of sovereignty, and the horrid trajectory from colonialism, to neocolonialism into neoliberalism.”—Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, author of Haiti: The Breached Citadel
Although Haiti established its independence in 1804, external actors such as the United States, the United Nations, and non-profits have wielded considerable influence throughout its history. Especially in the aftermath of the Duvalier regime and the 2010 earthquake, continual imperial interventions have time and again threatened its sovereignty.
Who Owns Haiti? explores the role of international actors in the country’s sovereign affairs while highlighting the ways in which Haitians continually enact their own independence on economic, political, and cultural levels. The contributing authors contemplate Haiti’s sovereign roots from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including political science, anthropology, history, economics, and development studies. They also consider the assertions of sovereignty from historically marginalized urban and rural populations. This volume addresses how Haitian institutions, grassroots organizations, and individuals respond to and resist external influence. Examining how foreign actors encroach on Haitian autonomy and shape—or fail to shape—Haiti’s fortunes, it argues that varying discussions of ownership are central to Haiti’s future as a sovereign state.
Robert Maguire is professor of international development studies at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. Scott Freeman is professorial lecturer at the School of International Service at American University.