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

Type: Virtual Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Shaina Potts, Julie Klinger
Chairs: Shaina Potts

Call for Submissions

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.

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. We therefore encourage conceptual as well as empirical works-in-progress.

We invite papers investigating the concrete practices through which states produce territory within, beyond, and across national scales. We are interested in asking: what are the specific institutional mechanisms through which powerful actors produce claims to control over space and resources? How do liberal discourses, e.g. about law, economy and politics, shape the production of state space? What are the selective practices of rule-making, rule-breaking, and interpretation used to legitimate claims to territory? What are the roles of institutions, experts and technopolitical discourses in advancing expansionary territorial agendas in a nominally post-imperialist age? And how does attending to such concrete mechanisms help us disaggregate the state, even as we keep state power at the center of our analysis? Throughout, we are interested in probing the distinct logics at work in diverse territorializing processes, from privatization, to national security, to accumulation, to sovereignty.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Flexible institutional forms through which territorial claims are created and contested
• Legal, discursive and other mechanisms through which states exercise claims over non-terrestrial spaces and their natural resources, such as the ocean floor, the atmosphere, and outer space
• Relationships between geographies of finance, empire, scientific knowledge production, and environment
• Tensions between global commons—their production, destruction, defense, and expansion—and claims to national sovereignty
• Strategies for survival & emancipation, or expulsion & accumulation in the context of ongoing climate catastrophe

Please send abstracts (or a rough outline of ideas) to klinger@udel.edu and spotts@geog.ucla.edu by October 15.


Description

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.

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. What are the specific institutional mechanisms through which powerful actors produce claims to control over space and resources? How do liberal discourses, e.g. about law, economy and politics, shape the production of state space? What are the selective practices of rule-making, rule-breaking, and interpretation used to legitimate claims to territory? What are the roles of institutions, experts and technopolitical discourses in advancing expansionary territorial agendas in a nominally post-imperialist age? And how does attending to such concrete mechanisms help us disaggregate the state, even as we keep state power at the center of our analysis? Throughout, we are interested in probing the distinct logics at work in diverse territorializing processes, from privatization, to national security, to accumulation, to sovereignty.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Mikael Omstedt*, University of British Columbia, Articulating American Capitalism: Money, Uneven Development, and the Making of a Macroeconomy 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Emily C Melvin*, University of Southern Mississippi, Leslie Acton, University of Southern Mississippi, Lisa M Campbell, Duke University, (Un)claiming rights, resources, and ocean spaces: Marine genetic resources and area-based management tools in high seas governance negotiations 15 12:00 AM
Presenter Xuan Wang*, Renmin University of China, Yimin Zhao, Renmin University of China, The production of extended local territory: A topological investigation of scalar dynamics in the Pearl River Delta 15 12:00 AM

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