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 neo-liberal state formation. It was through this nexus that dispossession took place after 2000 in 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 furhter reshaped the boundaries between legality and illegality, further 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

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

Chapter 2. Economies and Politics of (il)Legality, 1950–2012
 Law, Order, and Uneven Development Under ISI
 Neoliberal Prohibitions and Transgressions after 1980
 Governance, Neoliberal Consolidation, and Ambiguity after 2000

Chapter 3. The (il)Legal Space of Global Trade and Finance
  (Il)Legal Dispossession
 Uneven Development, Finance, and Money Laundering
 Law and Geographies of Power

Chapter 4. Urban (Dis)Orders
 The Politics of Silence and the Routinization of Fear
 Spaces of (Il)Legality and Landscapes of Fear
 Undemocratic Infrastructure

Chapter 5. Uneven Development and Politics of (In)Difference
 Unevenness and the Production of (In)Difference
 State Power, Criminality and Accumulation through Otherness

Chapter 6. Social Space, Law, and Everyday Forms of Resistance
 Streets of Hope
 Places of Terror and Human Rights as Labor Rights
 Structured Coherence, Bargaining and Transcripts of Labor

Chapter 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.