Randall Amster

Randall Amster

Randall Amster, JD, PhD, is Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University. His books include Peace Ecology (Routledge, 2015), Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB, 2008); and the co-edited volume Exploring the Power of Nonviolence: Peace, Politics, and Practice (Syracuse University Press, 2013).

Articles by this author

Views
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Blinded by the Light of an Electoral ‘Reality Show’
Coming up next on ‘The Oval Office’: sparks fly as the final two contestants go head-to-head on live TV, while a dramatic surprise will soon be revealed that could change everything — and YOU get to make the call on who wins the grand prize and who gets voted off the show. Stay tuned…
Read more
Views
Monday, August 20, 2012
Life on Mars?: Searching for Signs in the Cosmos, and on Earth
Forty years ago, David Bowie asked the musical question, “Is there life on Mars?” Bowie’s song embodied an escapist sensibility, a longing for life elsewhere to break the doldrums and despair of life on Earth. Filled with vivid imagery , the song reflects humankind’s eternal longing to be part of something larger than our mundane lives.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Desert Mirage? Supreme Court Ruling May Bring Little Relief in Arizona
Among some beleaguered Arizona residents and outside observers, there's a tendency to look for a silver lining wherever possible. This is entirely understandable, given the overt repression and legislated bigotry prevalent in recent years.
Read more
Views
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Entrapped! Confessions of a Violent Consumerist
I have a confession to make. I am part of a vast international conspiracy that is bent on violently destroying our way of life and, ultimately, threatening our very survival itself.
Read more
Views
Friday, April 27, 2012
Occupy Asteroids? To Boldly Share What No One Has Shared Before
Sometimes the news reads like a cross between a corporate promotional campaign gone haywire and a rejected science fiction B-movie script. The announcement this week of an asteroid mining venture -- backed by Google executives, the Perot Group, and James Cameron, among others -- is precisely the sort of item that conjures both absurdity and horror in its full implications.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Averting the ‘Total Ruin’ of Institutionalized Injustice
As a parent, I tend to keep one eye on the present and another on the future. I also keep one (the third eye, perhaps?) on the past, since we need to know where we’ve been to know where we’re going. Or so they say — I’m actually not convinced that history is an accurate predictor any longer in this brave new world we’ve created in relatively short order. Then again, we in the Western world have always perceived the inevitability of an apocalypse of our own creation, from the very moment we decided to flout natural laws in favor of our manmade shackles.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
You Don’t Need a Clock to Know What Time It Is
With each passing day, the news grows increasingly grim. In recent weeks alone, we’ve seen women’s rights under assault as reactionary forces seek to turn the clock back by decades. Half a world away in Afghanistan, corpses are defiled and more are brutally created, without even their ages or innocence sufficient to protect them. Meanwhile, back at home, Congress passes and President Obama signs a new law that further restricts the ability of “we the people” to say or do anything that might stem the tide of the insanity.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Debt of Gratitude: Less Earning, More Learning
I’d like to share a story, a personal story, a common story, an American story. For nearly two decades, I have carried the burden of a crushing student loan debt, well over six figures and impossible for me to fathom paying off in this lifetime. While I have written before about debt in a more generalized sense -- advocating for a “Jubilee” as the ultimate stimulus and a chance for all of us to start anew -- I’ve never connected it publicly to my own plight. The reasons are complex, but have to do with fear, fear of vulnerability, fear of judgment.
Read more
Views
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Prism Break: Seeing Beyond the Shadows on the Walls Around Us
Social movements, when broadly construed and successfully applied, serve as something akin to elaborate filters. By holding a mirror up to society, a movement causes us to reconsider basic assumptions and structural processes that often exist invisibly yet pervasively in our collective midst. Social movement activities render such practices visible, and subject them to scrutiny in a manner that can become contagious in its breadth and depth alike. Movements make us question those things that we take for granted, assume are unchangeable, or benefit from without repercussions.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Occupy Ourselves: With Peace in Our Hearts and Power in Our Hands
In just a few short months we have reached a point of near saturation in which the modifier “Occupy” has been applied to almost every sphere of our beleaguered political economy. Not every such application has been equally useful, but for the most part the intended meaning of the word has come through in the sense of prying open the inner sanctum of the dominant order, contesting its authoritarian workings, and agitating for new processes based on the burgeoning tenets of egalitarianism and sustainability.
Read more

Pages