Colonization in South Texas: fences, heterotopias and emplacements

Terence M. Garrett (The University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownville, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 24 August 2012



The purpose of this paper is to describe the taking of land from American citizens, mostly Latinos, and the public policies by the national government that gives it the power to override all federal, state, and local laws. Previous laws were established to protect property owners. Environmental regulations were designed to prevent the erosion of unique ecosystems in the USA. The legal ability to use such power has allowed the DHS secretary to effectively strip economically poor and politically powerless citizens of their personal property and to force wildlife refuges to surrender their holdings in order to build the fence.


The author explains what this all means in terms of political power using primarily the work of Herbert Marcuse on power and repression and Michel Foucault and his concepts of heterotopias, and emplacement.


The idea is to provide the means and build upon Marcuse's and Foucault's works to better understand and build public administration theory.


The value of this work is constituted in an exploration of a largely neglected border region and the impact upon people subjugated and oppressed by the State and its overall implications for governance and humanity.



Garrett, T. (2012), "Colonization in South Texas: fences, heterotopias and emplacements", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 39 No. 10, pp. 742-749.

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