CfP: (Dis)assembling State Spaces: Conceptualising the New Geometries of Power, Warwick 19–20 May 2016

by | 25 Feb 2016


Warwick Political Geography ConferenceBorders are breaking, ecology is unruly, bodies are suspect, walls are rising, information is clouded, and thoughts are crowded. The relation between states and space appears to be in constant contestation on a variety of fronts. We are witnessing the financialized dislocation of economies and ecologies, the subordination of the state to processes of deregulation and international governance, the militarization of ‘failed states’, the privatization of all forms of commons, the irruption of mass migrations and the explosion of grassroots dissent. In the context of these new geometries of power, the more the state extends its  calculating mechanisms of control, the less firm seems its grasp.

Such questions, rather than appease the problem of imagining ‘the state’, throw us into the ontological turmoil that this very idea is experiencing. Where is the state? What ground can it claim and what claims can it hold?  What is the state? What ideas and materialities is it assembled of and how are these tied to specific historical lineages and geographical projects? Who is the state? Who does it speak to and what agencies can it rely upon? How can we conceptualise the state today?

Rather than taking an abstract conception of the state for granted, we aim to explore its actual, materialised, contested and messy embodiments and imaginations. This implies not only interrogating its place, but also how space has worked as one of its key assembling concepts (i.e. Lefebvre, Deleuze, Massey). How does the state come together or fall apart? What mundane realities does it find itself entangled in? How does it (not) appear as a disparate occurrence over a variety of spatialities and temporalities? How is it assembled and disassembled? How does it coalesce and dissolve?

We invite proposals for abstracts which come from a variety of theoretical positions and empirical focuses that show the contested and unruly aspects of processes of state space (dis)assemblage, and how these  can be considered political. Submissions are encouraged to make contributions along these broad themes:

  • Corporeality and materiality of state space.

  • Temporalities of state action and the rhythms of bureaucracy.

  •  Spaces of presence and absence of the state.

  • City  and/or rural space and state space.

  • The production of state spaces and the everyday.

  • Biopolitics, race, migration and state space.

  • State spaces, the nation and citizenship.

  • Security and state space assemblages.

  • Land grabbing , extractivism, open regionalisms  and state space.

  • State spaces and spaces of exception.

  • Post/decolonial approaches to state space.

  • Radical approaches to state space.


The 3rd  Graduate Conference in Political Geography, 19th – 20th May 2016, The University of Warwick, Department of Politics and International Studies


Keynote Speakers:

Leopold Lambert (The Funambulist),

Michael Woods  (Aberystwyth)
Abstracts and of maximum 600 words and short biographies of maximum 200 words should be sent to no later than: 8th of March 2016, accepted papers only will be notified by 30th of March 2016. PAIS is delighted to announce the availability of funding for travel grants, non-UK attendees will be given preference. For more details go to



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