James Brittain, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Phone: (902) 585-1292
Email: james.brittain@acadiau.ca

Research Interests

Working within and through the fields of social theory and political economy, my research is grounded in an examination of the sociopolitical and cultural complexities of class and, most specifically, how such inequitable relations remain (substantively) unchallenged. This work has led to a diverse portfolio of research, publications, and pedagogical approaches: be they critical development studies toward Latin America, revolutionary social movements in Colombia, or examining the role of sport as a holistic hegemonic interface of individualized competition, socioeconomic distraction, and a redirection of political tensions.

My current work scrutinizes the issue of class through a nuanced examination of professional and amateur road cycling in North America and Europe. Through this specific subject matter a theoretical interpretation can be made of how exclusion, exploitation, and marginalization remain constituted through fleeting artifices of leisure via modalities of escape and consumption. To support such work, I have been engaged in studying the sociocultural and political-economic underpinnings of professional and amateur road cyclists – and the industry therein – as a template through which to understand how capitalist structures mediate individuals and societies. Utilizing both theoretical analysis and first-hand research via interviews and participant observation, my work seeks to dissect and deconstruct cycling as a simultaneous tool of both class-consciousness and class-suppression, which structurally support yet periodically negate proximal and distal relations of power.

Selected Publications

Brittain, James J. 2015. “The FARC-EP and Consequential Marxism in Colombia,” in Emancipatory Politics: A Critique. Stephen Feuchtwang and Alpa Shah (Editors). London, UK: OAC Press. pp.95-132.

Brittain, James J. 2011. “Contemporary Colombia: The continuity of struggle,” Labour, Capital and Society (Special Issue on Colombia: The continuity of struggle – Guest Editor: James J. Brittain) 43(2): 3-11.

Brittain, James J. 2011. “Revolutionary Emancipation ‘From Below’ in Colombia, a Response to Skocpol,” Critique 39(1): 99-128.

Brittain, James J. 2010. Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The origin and direction of the FARC-EP. London, UK: Pluto Press.

Brittain James J. 2009. “Uribe’s Colombia.” Global Dialogue 10(1): 108-119.

Brittain, James J. and R. James Sacouman. 2008. “Agrarian Transformation and Resistance in the Colombian Countryside.” Labour, Capital and Society 41(1): 57-83.

Ampuero, Igor y James J. Brittain. 2008. “La cuestión agraria y la lucha armada en Colombia.” en Recuperando la tierra: El resurgimiento de movimientos rurales en África, Asia y América Latina. Sam Moyo y Paris Yeros (coordinadores). Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO. pp. 327-399.

Brittain, James J. 2007. “The Differing Revolutionary Positions of Gramsci and Trotsky in Relation to Classical Marxism, the Peasantry, and the Majority World.” Socialist Studies: The Journal of the Society for Socialist Studies 3(2): 65-92.

Brittain, James J. 2007. “Formas de Desarrollo Poco Convencionales e Ilícitas: La compleja industria del narcotráfico en Colombia.” Cuadernos de Sociología Número 41: 13-68.

Brittain, James J. 2007. “FENSUAGRO’s Struggle for Social Justice.” Peace Review: Journal of Social Justice 19(3): 417-426.

Brittain, James J. 2007. “La Vacilante Economía Política de Uribe: Aumento de la tributación dual de clases, acuerdos bilaterales comerciales dilatados o prolongados, y la creciente inestabilidad rural.” Controversia Número 188: 247-289.

Brittain, James J. 2007. “Government, NGOs and the Paramilitary: A Colombian contradiction.” Development 50(1): 122-127.

Brittain, James J. 2007. “War, Evil, and the End of History. Review essay of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s book concerning the global shift toward apolitical conflict.” Rethinking Marxism 19(1): 143-146.

Brittain, James J. 2006. “Human Rights and the Colombian Government: An analysis of state-based atrocities toward non-combatants.” New Politics 10(4): 124-129.

Brittain, James J. 2005. “The FARC-EP in Colombia: A revolutionary exception in an age of imperialist expansion.” Monthly Review 57(4): 20-33.

Brittain, James J. 2005. “A Theory of Accelerating Rural Violence: Lauchlin Currie’s role in underdeveloping Colombia.” Journal for Peasant Studies 32(2): 335-360.

Brittain, James J. 2005. The Consequential Effects of Canadian Immigration Policy and Anti-Terror Legislation on Colombian Refugees. Saskatoon, SK: The Saskatchewan Institute for Public Policy, University of Regina.

Brittain, James J. 2005. Increasing Understanding: The influence of contemporary Canadian immigration policy and anti-terror legislation on Canadian society and its consequences for Colombian refugees. Saint John, NB/Ottawa, ON: Council of Canadians.

Ampuero, Igor and James J. Brittain. 2005. “The Agrarian Question and Armed Struggle in Colombia.” (with Igor Ampuero) in Reclaiming the Land: The Resurgence of Rural Movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros (Eds.). London, UK: Zed Books. pp. 359-382.