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Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake

Mark Schuller and Pablo Morales, editors
Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake
ISBN: 978-1-56549-511-1
ISBN: 978-1-56549-512-8
ISBN: 978-1-56549-514-2
2012/288 pages/LC: 2011033765
A Kumarian Press Book
Also of interest:  Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery by Robert Fatton Jr.
 "This exceptional book ... bravely exposes the NGOs' continuation of colonial discourse and refusal to engage with Haitian government and local efforts; demonstrates how colonial and neo-colonial projects and other predatory forms of capitalism have shaped definitions of Haiti; and shows how women’s subjugation, worker exploitation, poverty and resistance remain global struggles."—Claudine Michel, Journal of Haitian Studies

"The tectonic shifts in the book's title are explicitly about political earthquakes in addition to geological ones.... Schuller and Morales have assembled a powerful collection of voices seeking powerful action to do better for their country.... We need more such in-depth, broad-based research and analysis to truly understand how to deal with disasters afflicting island communities."—Ilan Kelman, Island Studies Journal

"Offers insight into nagging questions of why Haiti appears to be persistently stuck in a quagmire of dysfunction and why recovery is so unbearably slow. Not all is hopeless. Essays on Haitians pro-active during the aftermath and empowering grassroots works are also covered."—Tequila Minsky, Caribbean Life

"A powerful collection of testimony, analysis, and reporting from those most affected by Haiti's earthquake and the journalists, activists and academics who were there to witness the realities on the ground. In stark contrast to the mainstream media's characterizations of Haitians and the humanitarian aid complex that has dominated the discourse on Haiti since the quake, this book gives voice to critical perspectives that go deeper than the surface; it offers truth in the place of over-simplified and often racist depictions of Haiti."—Nicole C. Lee, TransAfrica Forum

"The most complete structural survey of the rubble of Haiti's socioeconomic, political landscape since that 9/11 of humanitarian disasters, the earthquake of January 12, 2010."—Christian Wisskirchen, Haiti Support Group

"Guiding us way beyond the usual narrative tropes and sound bites, this konbit of a book peels away at centuries' worth of misinformation about this much maligned but magnificent country. A phenomenal contribution to Haitian history, politics, culture—and survival—both before and after the earthquake."—Edwidge Danticat

"Talking about Haiti with the majority of Haitians who are poor brings refreshing clarity, because they eloquently connect apparently unconnected developments into a single context of centuries of repression and courageous resistance to that repression. Tectonic Shifts faithfully conveys this perspective and its clarity, so if you cannot go to Haiti and speak Haitian, read it."—Brian Concannon, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

"This book reminds us not only of Haiti's potential, but of the resiliency of its people to move forward in the midst of the worst disaster that could have fallen on them."—Francois Pierre-Louis, Jr, CUNY-Haiti Initiative


Tectonic Shifts offers compelling on-the-ground perspectives on the aftermath of Haiti's cataclysmic earthquake. Following a critical analysis of the country's heightened vulnerability as a result of centuries of underdevelopment and misguided foreign aid interventions, the authors address a range of contemporary realities, foreign impositions, and political changes in the relief and reconstruction periods.


Mark Schuller is assistant professor of anthropology and NGO leadership development at Northern Illinois University. Pablo Morales is associate editor of NACLA Report on the Americas.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • Haiti's Vulnerability to Disasters—R. Beauvoir-Dominique, et al.
  • Rat Mode, Soufle: Foreign Domination—R. Belizaire, et al.
  • The Republic of NGOs—C. Vorbe, et al.
  • Disaster Capitalism—A. Herz, et al.
  • Moun Andeyò: Persistent Legacies of Exclusion—C. Jean-Baptiste, et al.
  • The Camps and Being Displaced—C. Exantus, et al.
  • Forced Eviction and the Right to Housing—P. Florvilus, et al.
  • Impacts on and Participation of Women—M.J.A. Chancy, et al.
  • Rights and Public Health—R. Piarroux, et al.
  • Politics From Above: Elections and Geopolitics—J.-Y. Blot., et al.
  • Politics From Below: Solidarity, Participation, and Emerging Movements—B. Bell, et al. 
  • Shifting the Terrain—G.A. Ulysse and F. Deshommes.