Living in the yellow zone: the political geography of intervention in Haiti

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Abstract

Every international intervention comes with its own security regulations, which contribute in turn to structure the political geography of the intervention, delimiting areas of interaction between interveners and local population and shaping the political economy of intervention. The securitization of the everyday in Haiti took the form of colour-coded security zones (green, yellow and red), with distinct security regulations for each zone. This article will analyse the specific everyday ramifications of the security mapping in Haiti, focusing particularly on the vast yellow zone that covers residential areas in Port-au-Prince as well as the downtown area in dire need for investment after the earthquake. Based on interviews conducted in Port-auPrince in 2017 and 2018, the article will make three distinct arguments. First, by channelling expatriates to specific locations in the capital city, and by preventing them from occupying other zones in Port-au-Prince, the securitization practices contribute to the gentrification process around the Pétion-Ville area, contributing in their own way to the deep-rooted social segregation process at play in Port-au-Prince. Second, it will analyse how these logics of securitization are linked to an ‘imagined geography’ of the capital city, where actual security risks matter less than logics of disassociation from areas perceived as having no interest for the international actors. Finally, the article will look at how security mapping is re-appropriated and resisted by local actors, displaying a mix of resilience and self-help strategies.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalPolitical Geography
Volume67
Early online date22 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018