Strategic Villages

 

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Since early Cold War years, the counterinsurgency policies have had as a target not only to destroy the guerrillas movements but also to “win hearts and minds” of the population. The Strategic Village program was conceived by the military to force displaced rural population into new villages, intending to cut off the link between population and the guerrillas. In counterinsurgency warfare the power to « kill cities » exists alongside with the power to built urban places ex nihilo. Why the village was chosen as an instrument of war? Is there an imaginary and ideal city serving as background to create and design the forced resettlements? Which are the special features for those model cities? Why does the access to urban life have in military discourse the power to transform people? Which are the long lasting effects of the strategic village program? Framed within social anthropology, sociology, political science and critical geography, this research will produce a seminal in-depth study of the daily life among the strategic villages in Latin America.


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