Research Themes

Recently Published Edited Volume

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Dr. Freeman's Chapters in Who Owns Haiti? 

  • Sovereignty and Soil: Collective and Wage Labor in Rural Haiti.

  • Sovereignty and ‘Ownership’ from Inside and Out. with Robert Maguire.

  • Reflections on Sovereignty. with Robert Maguire and Nicholas Johnson.

Who Owns Haiti? People, Power, and Sovereignty

(2017) Edited by Robert Maguire and Scott Freeman and published by the University Press of Florida, featuring chapters by Laurent Dubois, Robert Fatton Jr., Scott Freeman, Nicholas Johnson, Chelsey Kivland, Robert Maguire, Francois Pierre-Louis Jr., Karen Richman, Ricardo Seitenfus, and Amy Wilentz

Although Haiti established its independence in 1804, external actors such as the United States, the United Nations, and non-profits have wielded considerable influence throughout its history. Especially in the aftermath of the Duvalier regime and the 2010 earthquake, continual imperial interventions have time and again threatened its sovereignty.

Who 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.

"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

Soil Conservation & Agriculture


Sliding Soils: Political Ecology and Development in Haiti (Book manuscript in progress)

Sovereignty and Soil: Collective and Wage Labor in Rural Haiti. In Who Owns Haiti? People, Power, and Sovereignty (2017), eds. Robert Maguire and Scott Freeman

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Who Speaks for Soil?

Platypus, the CASTAC blog, April 7, 2015

"The director of the FAO, José Graziano da Silva, had the following to say of the importance of soil: 'The multiple roles of soils often go unnoticed. Soils don’t have a voice, and few people speak out for them. They are our silent ally in food production.'
Yet as I’ve found researching soil conservation in Haiti in 2012 and examining the history of soil conservation more broadly, it seems that many people have spoken out for soils.... while I’d agree with Mr. da Silva that soils do not have an “audible” voice, I’d argue that we need to pay far more attention to who speaks for soils and why.


Dumping Peanuts in Haiti

The Globalist, June 18, 2016, co-authors Adam Diamond and Garrett Graddy-Lovelace

"[T]he seemingly noble act of donating peanuts to Haiti has rightly been criticized as undermining the already struggling smallholding peanut farmers in Haiti.
But this is not simply an issue of international aid policy. Smallholding farmers in Haiti are merely the most recent group of peanut farmers to be displaced by domestic agriculture policy. The first group was small and medium size growers in the United States."

Development Aid & Projects


Lojik èd: Pwojè e Odìt nan Ayiti (Logics of aid: The project and audit in Haiti). Chantiers. Universitè d’Ètat d’Haiti (Forthcoming)

Haiti’s Projectified Landscapes. African Education In Focus. Teachers College, Columbia University. (2013)       


Perfume & the Vetiver Trade


Perfume and Planes: Ignorance and Imagination in Haiti's Vetiver Oil Industry" Recently published in The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 

Vetiver in Southwest Haiti (pdf). New York: Haiti Research and Policy Program, Columbia University. Digital Publication. (2013) 


Writings for the Focus on Haiti Initiative


The Focus On Haiti Initiative was founded after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and promotes scholarship and policy discussions on Haiti at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Dr. Freeman was a member of the FOH team while a visiting scholar at the Institute for Global and International Studies at the Elliott School of George Washington University.