This research project seeks to develop a radical geographical critique of contemporary humanitarian emergencies within the context of contemporary globalisation. It seeks to do so via an explicitly theoretical approach that is rooted in historical geographical materialism and critical theory, and in theories of the production of space in particular. The project’s principal objective is to elaborate a theoretical platform for the analysis of these crises as explicitly geographical phenomena, in which particular configurations of socio-spatial and political-ecological relations that stretch form the global to the local and back again, are reconfigured through violent processes of contest and struggle to produce particular spatial, social and material configurations of people, institutions and things in particular places to produce ‘The Space of Crisis’. The space of crisis, it will be argued, represents a particular configuration of space and power that is characterised both by the suffering body-subject of the humanitarian victim-beneficiary, and by a particular set of political ecological and socio-spatial conditions that exhibit stunning similarities wherever they are found. These spaces and subjects, occupy a significant position within the overall logic of neoliberal globalisation in that they act as materializations of particular forms of power struggle in place, and occupy the nexus between the conflicting logics of violence and protection which lies at the heart of neoliberal governmentality. This project will examine the particularity of these spaces and subjects through a detailed analysis of the complex relations that produce them.
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