American Political Science Review | November 2023
Engineering Territory: Space and Colonies in Silicon Valley.
Although space colonization appears to belong to the world of science fiction, private corporations owned by Silicon Valley billionaires—and supported by the US state—have spent billions making it a reality. Analyses of space colonialism have sometimes viewed these projects as distinct from earthly histories of colonialism, instead locating them within traditions of libertarianism, neoliberalism or techno-utopianism. By reconstructing technology elites’ political visions for celestial settlements within literature on colonial-era corporations and property, this essay argues that the idea of outer space as an empty frontier relies on the same logic of territorialization which was used to justify terrestrial colonialism and indigenous dispossession. It further traces how the idea of “engineering territory” has inspired wider Silicon Valley political exit projects such as cyberspace, sea-steading and network states which, rather than creating spaces of anarchical freedom, are attempting to recreate the territorial state in new spaces.
Master's Dissertation | Queen's University Belfast | September 2018
The Job We Knew: Perceptions of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Officers on the Police Role in Northern Ireland
Despite their taken for granted presence in modern society, there is often little consensus around what the police actually do. Northern Ireland proves a notable exception, as policing has always been a controversial issue at the heart of the Troubles. While perceptions among republican and unionist communities about the police have been well- documented, less research exists on the perceptions of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers themselves. Through an examination of secondary literature, testimony in the RUC-George Cross Foundation Oral History Archive, and interviews with retired police officers, this dissertation explores the views of former RUC officers’ conceptualizations about the police role and the role the RUC played in Northern Ireland. Fundamentally, this dissertation examines notions of state control and how RUC officers have legitimized their role in an environment where the legitimacy of the state is contested. The first section addresses conceptualizations of the ideal police officer as embodied in the myth of the original British bobby of 1829 and how this vision of the original police informs understandings of normal policing. My second section examines RUC officers’ perceptions of the police’s role in the conflict through a comparison of how the police ‘fight’ crime. Finally, I examine officers’ perceptions of new policing and belief that the fundamental role of the police had changed: beyond simply the end of the RUC, I argue there is a sense that ‘job we knew’ as police officers is gone.
Undergraduate Honors Thesis | Stanford University | May 2017
Stories Courts Tell: The Problematic History of the Yugoslav Tribunal in Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 1993, the United Nations Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the first of a number of contemporary international and hybrid tribunals that have been established since the 1990s. The proliferation of these courts has largely been driven by their potential to contribute to transitional justice, or the process of transitioning from war to peace by addressing the legacy of violence through accountability. The founders of the Yugoslav Tribunal similarly believed that the court would positively impact peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In this thesis, I argue that the Yugoslav Tribunal operated as if the court was part of a domestic judicial system, rather than a transitional justice process. Many among the Tribunal’s staff and supports believed that the purpose of international courts was simply to try alleged criminals; therefore, they thought that the Yugoslav Tribunal should simply duplicate the structures and goals of domestic courts. I argue that transitional justice trials are not like domestic trials: they are tools that can be used to support or craft a collective narrative about the past. Through the drama of a trial, these types of courts contribute to society’s understanding of history. Because the Yugoslav Tribunal largely operated as if it were a domestic court on a global scale, it did not prioritize communicating its findings or crafting a narrative for the public and has instead been used by other actors.