Black Panama and Globalization in the Neoliberal Era, 1990 - 2012 公开

Amen Strayhorn, Kali-Ahset (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/n009w2497?locale=zh
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Abstract

Traditional theories of urbanization and economic development in Latin American cities do not adequately explain the challenging state of urban livability in Colón, Panama. The main argument of this dissertation is that processes of racialization influence and are influenced by development strategies in Colón. I employ racial analysis in this place-based study to show how knowledge-producing and space-producing practices signifying Colón as a ‘black' city have helped to justify state neglect of local priorities. Building on extant accounts of racialized urban planning during the colonial and neocolonial eras of Panama's development, this study inserts new findings about the racial correlates and effects of planning in the current era of neoliberal globalization. I contend that in the case of Colón, local, national, and transnational phenomena of race and racial formation are important material and ideological processes shaping development at the local level. In turn, local instantiations of racial formation imbricate with capital circulations and political processes at other scales (national, supranational) of social change as well.

Additionally, I explore how planning outcomes affect social rights for racially minoritized groups in the city. My findings implicate state strategies of ‘neoliberalization' in the monitoring and management of racialized labor and underclass mobility, generating new social and spatial configurations that correlate with the attenuation of social citizenship. I find two specific aspects of racialization at work: (a) the disappearance of the black worker as the primary labor subject of development, and (b) the displacement of the racialized poor through ex-urbanization and other means. Both processes are shaped by the stealth persistence of ideological mestizaje, with its representational power to absorb and obscure black racial difference; and by neoliberalism's deracinating logics of land and labor utility.

While history reveals that Afro-Panamanians have always experienced marginalization in Panamanian society, few studies have addressed the dynamics of black inclusion and exclusion since the end of U.S. occupation. By focusing on the urban black condition in the economic transformations that have since emerged, this project fills an important gap in contemporary Afro-Latin studies, and in the study of race, urbanization, and neoliberal globalization.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Questions, Concepts, and Methods................................................................1

Chapter 2 Defining Black Panama: A Framework for Analysis.............................................24

Chapter 3 Urban (Trans)formation and Racial Politics from Colonial Rule to Torrijísmo.............71

Chapter 4 Neoliberal Planning, Flexible Labor, and Urban Marginality..................................120

Chapter 5 Housing ‘Neoliberalization' and Racial Remapping..............................................186

Chapter 6 Synthesis: Citizenship, Globalization, and the Black Subject in Panama................232

References............................................................................................................266

Appendix A Panama Census 2010, Afrodescendant Population.........................................299

Appendix B List of Key Informants.............................................................................300

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