Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois, Urbana, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10604
Approve DateSeptember 29, 2023
Project TitleHamideh, Adam (Illinois, Urbana, U. of) "Teamwork Makes the Violence Work: Knowledge Production in the Private Tactical Training Industry"
Since at least the 1970s, an entire private industry devoted to the production and distribution of tactical knowledge has blossomed, particularly in the United States but also globally. Fed, in part, by massive state investments in warfare abroad and law and order domestically, these private tactical training businesses are mostly but not entirely run by current or former members of state violence institutions. This industry claims authoritative knowledge on the “best practices” in the use of violence, either for self-defense or for state needs to deploy violence in the name of order. This project will seek to understand the private tactical training industry as a site of production: of knowledges and subjectivities of violence work for state institutions (Seigel 2018). This project seeks to understand how the knowledge and politics that are produced in these spaces subjectify (Foucault 1982) and circulate, and how this epistemology of violence arises out of histories of racism, sexism, and class domination. Utilizing an ethnographic observation of these training schools, this project aims to demonstrate how the “boundaries” around even the “hardest” of state institutions, such as the police and the military, are illusory, and instead are themselves social relations (Poulantzas and Hall 2014).