Distance, Proximity and the Geopolitical

Distance, Proximity and the Geopolitical

Patrick Weir (University of Exeter), Anna Jackman (University of Exeter), Sean Carter (University of Exeter)

Over the past decade the field of political geography has been marked by a series of theoretical and conceptual innovations around key concepts such as territory and scale (e.g. Elden 2013, Marston et al 2005). However, the concept of distance, whilst often implicit within such discussions, arguably remains relatively under-theorised. This session therefore seeks to explore the continued relevance of distance to discussions of the geopolitical.

The importance of distance, for example, needs re-consideration in light of the critiques made of the assumed topographical and Euclidean properties of space by a range of approaches that might be loosely termed relational, as well as by technologies that are said to render (geopolitical) distance increasingly insignificant. Despite these claims, however, geopolitical strategies, discourses, actions and performances often continue to be read and understood through reference to notions of distance and proximity.

This session, therefore, invites theoretical and empirical contributions exploring the significance and importance of the concept of distance in the geopolitical sphere.

Suggested paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Visualities and distance
  • Technologies of and as distance
  • Action at a distance
  • Cosmopolitan ethics and distance
  • Military capabilities and distance
  • Humanitarian intervention and responsibility at a distance

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