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The Institutional Production of Territory: State Expansion in a “Nationalist” Age: I

Type: Paper
Theme: Ethnonationalism and Exclusion Around the World
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Julie Klinger, Shaina Potts
Chairs: Shaina Potts


Amidst the proliferation of nationalist discourses making simplistic claims about state sovereignty, in practice, state spatiality is increasingly trans-national, subterranean, aquatic, non-contiguous and/or extraterrestrial. Building on our previous work on financialization and frontiers, in this session we refocus our gaze on the state to engage its violent and virulent resurgence as an imperial actor in contemporary times. We are particularly interested in the flexible institutional forms through which states, in collusion with “non-state” entities, broadly defined, produce state territorialities within and beyond official political borders.

The aim of this session is to decenter Westphalian notions of the relationship between states and contiguous terrestrial territories, while keeping the state, in its multiple forms, at the center of our analyses. Our motivation is to identify specific institutional mechanisms through which national territories and state power are produced and contested. By focusing on territoriality, we foreground practices of material expansion, land use change, and state building. We envision this, however, in an open way that includes not only explicit physical expansion, but also how institutional, legal, financial and discursive practices underwrite claims to resources of all kinds.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Julie Michelle Klinger*, University of Delaware, On the subterranean and the orbital as sites of struggle 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Joel Correia*, University of Florida, Frontier political ecologies: Rethinking territoriality, state formation, and resource rule in the Gran Chaco 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Juliet Lu*, University of California - Berkeley, Predation or Paternalism? Yunnan State Farms’ territorial strategies in Laos 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Matthew Libassi*, University of California - Berkeley, Subterranean Territories: Authority and Contestation on an Indonesian Gold Mining Concession 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Brian Klein*, University of California - Berkeley, Formalization as Territorialization?: Fragmented Authority, Contested Institutions, and Discursive (re)Alignments on Madagascar’s Gold Frontier 15 12:00 AM

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