Damion Blake

Lecturer in Political Science and Policy Studies
Gray Pavilion - Pol. Science 210H
2333 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
dblake3@elon.edu (336) 278-5760

Brief Biography

Dr. Damion Keith Blake was a 2011-2012 Drugs, Security and Democracy (DSD) dissertation fellow. The fellowship was awarded jointly by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Open Society Foundation (OSF). Dr. Blake received funding to undertake his dissertation field work research in Kingston, Jamaica for seven months. He completed his PhD in Political Theory and Policy in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT Program) at Virginia Tech with his project titled “Violent Actors and Embedded Power: Exploring the Evolving Roles of Jamaica’s Dons.” The dissertation was successfully defended in November 2012. 

Blake holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA.) and a Master of Science (MSc.) from the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona, Jamaica. He taught as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Government at UWI (2005-2008) and in the departments of History and Political Science at Virginia Tech. He was an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech from 2012 to 2013. Dr. Blake served as a consultant with his home country's Ministry of National Security on its violence prevention program; Unite for Change. Blake is also a guest columnist with the Gleaner newspaper in Jamaica, contributing commentary pieces on Caribbean electoral politics, political economy, violence and organized crime. Blake has authored and co-authored four published peer-reviewed journal articles. His teaching areas are: Comparative Politics and Government; National Security and Introduction to International Relations & World Politics. Blake’s research areas are: Organized Crime and urban violence; Drugs, gangs, dons and other violent non-state actors in Jamaica and the Caribbean (English speaking). His latest publication in the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research (JEQR) is entitled: Shadowing the State: Violent control and the social power of Jamaican Dons: Vol.8: 56-75, 2013.  






BA History and Government (with First Class Honors): University of the West Indies (UWI, Mona, Jamaica) 2002 

MSc. Comparative Politics and Political Theory: UWI; 2004

Ph.D. Governance and Political Theory: Virginia Tech; 2012

Employment History

Violence Prevention Consultant: Government of Jamaica, Ministry of National Security 2014 

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Department of Political Science: Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) 2012-2013

Graduate Teaching Assistant in Department of History: Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) 2009-2012

Lecturer Department of Government: University of the West Indies (UWI, Mona, Jamaica) 2005-2008

Courses Taught

World History

Introduction to Comparative Politics

World Politics

National Security 



Blake, D. (2013). Shadowing the State: Violent Control and the Social Power of Jamaican Garrison Dons. Journal of ethnographic and qualitative research (JEQR).  Vol. 8(1) pp. 56-75.                                             

Bourne, Pinnock, Blake. (2012). The Influence of Violent Crimes on Health in Jamaica: A Spurious Correlation and an Alternative Paradigm.6 (1), pp.5-12. http://www.jcdr.net/article_abstract.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2012&month=February&volume=6&issue=1&page=5-12&id=1860

Bourne, P; Blake, D; Sharpe-Pryce, C and Solan, I. (2012). Murder and Politics in Jamaica: A Historical Quantitative Analysis, 1970-2009. Asian Journal of Business Management, 4(3): 233-251.


Blake, D. (2004). Direct Democracy and the new Paradigm of Politics in Jamaica. Social and economic studies. 53 (4), 63.http://www.jstor.org/stable/27866394


Latin American Studies Association (LASA):

Panel: Becoming Somebody: Negotiating urban violence in L/A & the Caribbean

Paper Presenting: “Destroying the Empires of Jamaican Dons” (May 2013)

Virginia Tech: Ridenour Faculty Fellowship Conference:

Panel: “Democratization in Context”

Paper Presented: “Democratization in Adverse Contexts” (April, 2013)

Social Science Research Council (SSRC):

Drugs Security and Democracy (DSD) Field-Work Research Workshop (Bogota, Colombia):

Paper Presented: “Findings of Field Work in Jamaica on Political Violence and Non-state criminal actors” (July, 2012)

Virginia Foundation of the Humanities (VHF):

Panel: Social Justice in the South Atlantic

Paper Presented “Jamaican Dons: Governing Agents of Social Justice and Economic Survival in Garrison Communities” (May, 2012)

Mid-West Political Science Association Conference (MPSA):

  • Panel: Organized Violence in Latin America: Origins and Solutions

Paper Presented “Collaborative Governance in Dangerous Spaces(April, 2012)

  • Panel: “Institutions, Ideology and Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean

Paper: “Sustaining Democracy: Caribbean democracies and the challenges they face in the new millennium” (April, 2010)

Roanoke College (Virginia): Gender, Politics and Society Conference:

Paper presented: “Consuming Phallocentrism: Discourses of Gender, the Media and Society in the Anglo-Caribbean” (March, 2011)

Florida Atlantic University (FAU): Comparative Studies Conference:

Panel: Why Interdisciplinary approaches to Learning?

Paper presented: “Auditing Democracy in the 21st century through the lens of interdisciplinary research


Drugs Security and Democracy Dissertation Fellow 2011-2012: Social Science Research Council (SSRC)

Virginia Humanities Fellow 2012