Who Owns Haiti? Edited Volume Published

We are proud to announce that Who Owns Haiti? People, Power, and Sovereignty, edited by Robert Maguire and Scott Freeman, has been published by the University Press of Florida.

The edited volume builds off of the Focus On Haiti Initiative’s 2014 conference, Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Sovereignty in a Fragile Stateincluding chapters by speakers at the event and from across disciplines.

The book is now for sale by the University Press of Florida. An excerpt and the table of contents are also available to view online.



WOHCover.pngWho Owns Haiti? explores the role of international actors in the country’s sovereign affairs while highlighting the ways in which Haitians continually enact their own independence on economic, political, and cultural levels. The contributing authors contemplate Haiti’s sovereign roots from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including political science, anthropology, history, economics, and development studies. They also consider the assertions of sovereignty from historically marginalized urban and rural populations. This volume addresses how Haitian institutions, grassroots organizations, and individuals respond to and resist external influence. Examining how foreign actors encroach on Haitian autonomy and shape–or fail to shape–Haiti’s fortunes, it argues that varying discussions of ownership are central to Haiti’s future as a sovereign state.


“A timely collection of articles by some of the leading and emerging scholars and specialists on Haiti, offering a wide range of critical perspectives on the question and meaning of sovereignty in Haiti.”–Alex Dupuy, coauthor of The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the International Community, and Haiti


“Directly asks the provocative question of ownership and Haitian sovereignty within the post-earthquake moment–an unstable period in which ideas on (re)development, humanitarianism, globalization, militarism, self-determination, and security converge.”–Millery Polyné, author of From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964


“Powerful essays by experts in their fields addressing what matters most to smaller nations–the meaning of sovereignty, and the horrid trajectory from colonialism, to neocolonialism into neoliberalism.”–Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, author of Haiti: The Breached Citadel



Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Now Streaming

On May 2, 2014, the Focus On Haiti Initiative of the Institute for International and Global Studies (IGIS), and the Latin American & Hemispheric Affairs Program (LAHSP), hosted Who ‘Owns’ Haiti? Sovereignty in a Fragile State: 2004 – 2014 at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, D.C.  The symposium explored issues related to Haiti’s sovereign status by way of presentations and discussions on economy and development, cultural preservation and practices, and governance and international engagement.

The symposium brought together a diverse, multidisciplinary group of policy makers, practitioners, and academics from Haiti, the United States, the Caribbean and Brazil to discuss these issues.  Videos from the symposium’s panels and keynote presentation can be found below. Continue reading