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Khalili, Laleh (2018) 'The infrastructural power of the military: The geoeconomic role of the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Arabian Peninsula.' European Journal of International Relations, 24 (4). pp. 911-933.

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In analysing the role of the US in the global expansion of capitalist relations, most critical accounts see the US military’s invasion and conquest of various states as paving the way for the arrival of US businesses and capitalist relations. However, beyond this somewhat simplified image, and even in peacetime, the US military has been a major geoeconomic actor that has wielded its infrastructural power via its US Army Corps of Engineers’ overseas activities. The transformation of global economies in the 20th century has depended on the capitalisation of the newly independent states and the consolidation of liberal capitalist relations in the subsequent decades. The US Army Corps of Engineers has not only extended lucrative contracts to private firms (based not only in the US and host country, but also in geopolitically allied states), but also, and perhaps most important, has itself established a grammar of capitalist relations. It has done so by forging both physical infrastructures (roads, ports, utilities and telecommunications infrastructures) and virtual capitalist infrastructures through its practices of contracting, purchasing, design, accounting, regulatory processes and specific regimes of labour and private property ownership.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Armed forces, capitalisation, geoeconomics, grammar of capitalism, infrastructural power, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, US Army Corps of Engineers
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 13540661
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2017. This is the accepted manuscript of an article published by SAGE in European Journal of International Relations, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 08:52
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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