School of Geography

Contested Political Geographies

Political parties demonstrating in Buenos Aires

Research in this area examines how sites and spaces of politics are produced and contested, from the state to grassroots and everyday practices. At its core – our research asks questions of and about the political and its social and spatial implications

Theme members are engaged in projects which examine the political in different sites and spaces, including how the Indian state is encountered and contested through practices of lived and material citizenship within national and transnational spaces (Philippa Williams), the mobilisation of Argentine political parties at the neighbourhood level and decentralisation of governance in Buenos Aires (Sam Halvorsen), the politics of everyday life among refugees and market vendors in urban Uganda (William Monteith), the contradictory political dynamics of food banking in the UK (Jon May) and the transformation of western democracy in recent decades (Simon Reid-Henry).

Territory and territoriality represents a strong theoretical focus through our research on Latin American Geographies (Sam Halvorsen), the geopolitics of violence and health (Simon Reid-Henry) and the (re)production of everyday peace and place (Philippa Williams). Central to our research, including that of PhD students in the cluster, is a focus on the prosaics of the state and bureaucracy (Theo Barry Born, Philippa Williams), everyday lived experiences of austerity (Faith Taylor, Jon May), geographies of encounter (Sam Halvorsen, Rosalie Warnock) and the spatial politics of social movements and resistances to neoliberalism, such as Occupy London (Sam Halvorsen).

Animated by questions concerning inequality, justice and the political our research draws on a range of methodological approaches including ethnographic (Philippa Williams, William Monteith) and co-produced methods, such as militant research with social movements (Sam Halvorsen).

Forthcoming research projects examine the digital politics of development in the context of India’s financialising state (Philippa Williams, Kavita Datta) and comparative work on the territorialisation of social movements and political parties in and beyond Latin America (Sam Halvorsen).