Uneven Landscapes of Violence

Geographies of Law and Accumulation in Mexico


In contrast to analyses that view systemic violence in Mexico as simply the result of drugs and criminality, a deviation of a well-functioning market economy and/or a failing and corrupt state, Muñoz Martínez argues in Uneven Landscapes of Violence that the nexus of criminality, illegality and violence is integral to neoliberal state formation. It was through this nexus that dispossession took place after 2000 in the form of forced displacement, extorsion and private appropriation of public funds along with widespread violence by state forces and criminal groups. The emphasis of the neoliberal agenda on the rule of law to protect private property and contracts further reshaped the boundaries between legality and illegality, concealing the criminal and violent origins of economic gain.

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Hepzibah Muñoz Martínez, Ph.D. (2008), York University, is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on Mexico’s political economy and violence including 'Criminal Violence and Social Control' in NACLA 47, 2014.
List of Maps and Images

1 Introduction: Violent State Formation and Accumulation in Mexico
 1  Locating Criminality, Illegality and Violence in Mexico
 2  Violence, Criminal Groups, and the State
 3  Violent Spatialities of State Formation and Uneven Development
 4  Lived Experience as Fieldwork
 5  Structure of the Book

2 Economies and Politics of (Il)Legality, 1950–2012
 1  Law, Order, and Uneven Development under ISI
 2  Neoliberal Prohibitions and Transgressions after 1980
 3  Governance, Neoliberal Consolidation, and Ambiguity after 2000
 4  Conclusion

3 The (Il)Legal Space of Global Trade and Finance
 1  (Il)Legal Dispossession
 2  Uneven Development, Finance, and Money Laundering
 3  Law and Geographies of Power
 4  Conclusion

4 Urban (Dis)Orders
 1  The Politics of Silence and the Routinization of Fear
 2  Spaces of (Il)Legality and Landscapes of Fear
 3  Undemocratic Infrastructure
 4  Conclusion

5 Uneven Development and Politics of (In)Difference
 1  Unevenness and the Production of (In)Difference
 2  State Power, Criminal Groups and Accumulation through the ‘Illegal’ Other
 3  Conclusion

6 Social Space, Law, and Everyday Forms of Resistance
 1  Streets of Hope
 2  Places of Terror and Human Rights as Labor Rights
 3  Structured Coherence, Collective Bargaining and Transcripts of Labor
 4  Conclusion

7 Conclusion: Geographies of State, Accumulation, and the Law

All interested in the relationship between economic globalization, state power, illegality and violence, and those concerned with US-Mexico border and Mexican studies in the security and law enforcement fields.