Category Archives: Power

The Birth of Territory

Stuart Elden has announced the publication of his much anticipated book, The Birth of Territory. At this blog—not least because of its name—we’ve followed the progress of this work very closely. As I said back then: “We’ve admired this work—the royal … Continue reading

Posted in Historical-Geographies, Land, Law, Maps, Place, Power, Sovereignty, Spatiality, Territory, The State | Comments Off on The Birth of Territory

Awkward Seas and Exclusive Economic Zones

New Left Review‘s new issue has an article by Peter Nolan that surveys the national “territorial” claims over the world’s oceans: “Imperial Archipelagos.” The sea as an awkward political space is one of those hobby interests of mine that may … Continue reading

Posted in Boundaries, Frontiers, Historical-Geographies, Land, Law, Nation/Nationalism, Pirates, Post-Colonial, Power, Sovereignty, Spatiality, Territory, The Sea, The State | 1 Comment

Bureaucracy is Beautiful? Or Death by Papelismo

Kyle Grayson’s Chasing Dragons pointed me to this extraordinary gallery of photographs called “Bureaucratics” by photographer Jan Banning. I recognized one of them (left): it graces the cover of Akhil Gupta’s new book Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Critique, Everyday Life, Law, Power, The State, Violence | Comments Off on Bureaucracy is Beautiful? Or Death by Papelismo

Althusser, Gramsci and Machiavelli – Us and Us

Debate in the geograsphere. Jon Beasley-Murray published a riff on Louis Althusser’s Machiavelli and Us saying he detects a post-hegemonic streak in Althusser’s take on Machiavelli with an emphasis on the aleatory, contingent, and the conjunctural rather than a “telos of the … Continue reading

Posted in Antonio Gramsci, Dialectics, Hegemony, Historical Materialism, Marxism, Nation/Nationalism, Niccolo Machiavelli, Power, The State | 6 Comments

Meanwhile… Actual Living Mayans: Zapatistas Retake the Plazas

After months (years?) of people talking about Mayans in the past tense, as a bygone civilization that predicted the end of the world, tens of thousands of Zapatistas quietly filed out of the mountains in southern Mexico and flooded into … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, Bandits, City, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Land, Power, Race & Ethnicity, Spatiality, Territory, The State | 1 Comment

Vibrant Matter

Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press. Bennett begins her book stating, “This book has a philosophical project and, related to it, a political one” (vii). And, indeed, her book sometimes reads as … Continue reading

Posted in Networks, Political Ecology, Power, Science & Tech., The Body | 2 Comments

Salty Geographies

A recent post by Andy Davies over at the Antipode Foundation’s blog raises some interesting geographical questions, particularly around labor, in light of the recent Costa Concordia shipwreck. On this blog we’ve noted some of the tricky problems the sea … Continue reading

Posted in Carl Schmitt, Historical-Geographies, Law, Pirates, Power, Sovereignty, Spatiality, The Sea, The State | Comments Off on Salty Geographies

Arendt, Foucault, Benjamin: On Violence, State, Law

This post discusses some scattered points raised about violence  by Hannah Arendt’s On Violence, Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence,” and Michel Foucault’s Society Must be Defended. Arendt makes a worthwhile distinction between power and violence, while recognizing that the two rarely … Continue reading

Posted in Carl Schmitt, Critique, Illegality, Law, Michel Foucault, Power, Race & Ethnicity, Sovereignty, The State, Violence | 1 Comment

Afflicted Powers

Retort. 2005. Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in an Age of War. New Edition. London: Verso. Despite being a relatively short book, Afflicted Powers is a difficult one to summarize. Retort* sets for itself the immodest task of identifying the … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, Everyday Life, Guy Debord, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Peace, Power, Primitive Accumulation, Spectacle, Terror, The State, Violence | Comments Off on Afflicted Powers

Occupy Volume, Occupy Verticality

#Occupy. Where does it go from here? How ‘bout up? I’m not 100% serious, but it’s been fascinating to see how #Occupy has expanded occupation to mean more than parking our collective butts on a flat—or at least, horizontal—and usually … Continue reading

Posted in #Occupy, City, Everyday Life, Henri Lefebvre, Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Power, Spatiality, The State, Violence | 6 Comments