The Institutional Production of Territory: State Expansion in a “Nationalist” Age III (Infrastructures)

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM (PST)
Room: Virtual 31
Organizers: Shaina Potts, Julie Klinger
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.

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.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Katharina Koch*, University of Calgary, Tracking Canada’s Nation-Building Efforts Through Infrastructure Development 15 3:05 PM
Presenter Mikael Omstedt*, University of British Columbia, Articulating American Capitalism: Money, Uneven Development, and the Making of a Macroeconomy 15 3:20 PM
Presenter Max Woodworth*, The Ohio State University, Digital democracy and territorialization in Taiwan 15 3:35 PM

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