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Society despite the state: an experiment in ‘Counterfactual Statism’

Barerra, Gerónimo and Ince, A. ORCID: 2021. Society despite the state: an experiment in ‘Counterfactual Statism’. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 20 (2) , pp. 214-221.

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Geography as a discipline has its foundations in colonialist, imperialist, capitalist and nation-building endeavours. The state has been central to its institutionalisation and has shaped in many ways the epistemic frameworks that continue to dictate how geographical knowledge is produced. This intervention is part of an ongoing project in which the authors seek to decentre the dominance of the state in geographical imaginations and reignite a critical self-examination of anarchist thinking on the state; a gaze the authors term post-statism. We contribute efforts to unpack and disrupt the prevalence of the state as an indisputable, intrinsic human institution that is essential to our contemporary and globalised world. This paper builds on radical and anti-authoritarian perspectives to interrogate how the state could be expounded from multiple purviews. In order to convey the latter, we examine a fundamental moment in the state’s understanding and representation through a counterfactual engagement with statism. We draw on non-academic sources (sci-fi literature) to question what may have happened if we had not invented the state. This point seeks to dislocate statist thought through critiques and imaginaries that question our reality – indeed, the separation of reality and fiction itself – and bring into focus other worlds.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: Published with Creative Commons licence: Attribution–Noncommercial–No Derivatives
Publisher: University of British Columbia, Okanagan
ISSN: 1492-9732
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 1 September 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 10:24

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