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For post-statist geographies

Ince, Anthony ORCID: and Barrera de la Torre, Geronimo 2016. For post-statist geographies. Political Geography 55 , pp. 10-19. 10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.04.001

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This article critically investigates past and contemporary treatments of the state within geographical scholarship. We propose that there is a silent statism within geography that has shaped it in ways that limit geographical imaginations. Statism, herein, refers to a pervasive, historically contingent organisational logic that valourises and naturalises sovereign, coercive, and hierarchical relationships, within and beyond state spaces. We argue that although the explicit, colonial statism that characterised early geography is past, traces of statism nonetheless underpin much of the discipline. While political geography has increasingly critiqued ‘state-centrism’, we argue that it is essential to move beyond critique alone. Using anarchist state theory to critically build upon perspectives in geography, we argue that statism is intellectually and politically problematic and should be recast as an active constituent of unequal social relations. In turn, we outline five core myths that form its logical foundations. In concluding, three initial areas in which post-statist geographies can make inroads are identified: interrogating intersections between statism and other power relations; constructing post-statist epistemologies and methodologies; and addressing how the state is represented in geographical work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anarchism; Epistemology; State theory; Statism
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0962-6298
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 18 April 2016
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 10:25

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