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  • Investigative Ethnography: A Spatial Approach to Economies of Violence

    Geographical Review, Journal Article, Apr 21, 2019

    Based on research in Colombia, this article argues that violent economic situations in specific spaces can be productively studied through a hybrid style of research that combines techniques of investigative journalism with the conceptual and methodological commitments of ethnographic inquiry.

  • Narco-Frontiers: A Spatial Framework for Drug Fueled-Accumulation

    Journal of Agrarian Change, Journal Article, Dec 05, 2018

    Through a combination of García Márquez's stories and Marx's general formula for capital as a means of analysis (Magical Marxism!), this article proposes a spatial framework for understanding how agrarian spaces are transformed by the drug trade.


  • Morales Re-Election Shows Failure of U.S. Policies

    Miami Herald, Op-Ed, Oct 17, 2014

    The re-election of Bolivian President Evo Morales to a third term is a stark reminder of Washington’s self-inflicted irrelevance south of the border. His life history is itself a story about U.S. policy blunders in Latin America.

  • 60 Years After CIA Coup, U.S. Policy Hasn't Changed

    McClatchy-Tribune News, Op-Ed, Jun 16, 2014

    Washington stood on the wrong side of history when it overthrew Guatemala's democratically elected president on June 27, 1954. To this day, the U.S. government has failed to learn the lessons of its Cold War interventions in Latin America.


  • Grassroots Masquerades: Development, Paramilitaries, and Land Laundering in Colombia

    Blog Entry, Wed, 11 Sep 2013

    My article “Grassroots Masquerades: Development, Paramilitaries, and Land Laundering” was just published by?Geoforum. The article will be out in hardcopy in Volume 50 (December 2013), but it’s already available online. The first version of the article was presented at the … Continue reading

  • The Birth of Territory

    Blog Entry, Mon, 02 Sep 2013

    Stuart Elden has announced the publication of his much anticipated book,?The Birth of Territory. At this blog—not least because of its name—we’ve followed the progress of this work very closely. As I said back then: “We’ve admired this work—the royal … Continue reading

  • Interview: Mass Protests Rock Colombia

    Blog Entry, Fri, 30 Aug 2013

    As mass protests in Colombia entered into their tenth day yesterday, I was interviewed by KPFA about the mobilizations that continue spreading throughout the country. Negotiations between the government and protest leaders continue. What began as a strike by peasants … Continue reading


  • State of the Colombian Peace Process

    TyT, TV Interview, Nov 17, 2016

    My interview with Dave Koller of TYT about the Colombian armed conflict, its origins, and current attempts to bring it to an end.

  • World Cup: Soccer and Politics in Colombia

    KPFK, Radio Interview, Jun 20, 2014

    After Colombia's 2-1 victory over the Ivory Coast, I spoke with Meleiza Figueroa of KPFA's "The People's Game," a show about politics and society during the 2014 World Cup. We discussed Colombia's history in the World Cup, its current winning streak, and how soccer in the country has crossed paths with the drug trade, the armed conflict, and today's political conjuncture.


I’m an Assistant Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies and Geography at Colgate University in upstate New York. Before completing my PhD in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, my professional background was in journalism, covering Latin American affairs and U.S. policy toward the region. Although I'm focused full-time on my academic work, I continue doing journalism on the side as a way of sharing my research with broader audiences.

My research is about the political ecology of violence and development in Latin America with a special interest in the role of natural resources and illicit political-economic networks. My book The Frontier Effect, forthcoming from Cornell University Press, is about how outlaw combatant groups funded by the drug trade engage in unexpected forms of state-building in a violent frontier zone of northwest Colombia. I have also begun research on a new project in Colombia about the ways that nature is being used as both a weapon of war and a tool for peace. Read More ?


Teo Ballvé Teo Ballvé
Hamilton, New York

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