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The Whereabouts of Power: Politics, Government and Space

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In a world where it has become almost commonplace to talk about power as centralised or distributed, concentrated or diffuse, deterritorialized or dispersed even, it is all too easy to miss the diverse geographies of power that put us in place. The binary talk that forces us to choose between a centred or a decentred view of power, or to shuffle between them in an effort to blur clearly demarcated scales, leaves little room to move beyond defined distances and settled proximities in relation to the exercise of power. In this paper, a more spatially-curious dialogue of power is opened up which foregrounds associational as well as instrumental forms of power which can make a difference to how we act politically.
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Keywords: binary geographies; centred; decentred; distance; modalities of power; proximity; reach; spatial politics; topological arrangement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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