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The problem of power and the politics of landscape: stopping the Greater Cairo ring road

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This paper reconceptualises the politics of landscape as the precarious art of managing the unexpected. By telling the story of a campaign to stop the construction of a road through the Giza plateau in Egypt, the paper elucidates how political power is characterised not only by triumphal coalitions but also by insecurity, blindly grasped chances and pure luck. The paper elaborates on this story by presenting a conception of power not predicated on forces, consequences or effects but rather on the fundamental problem of temporal uncertainty. Through an engagement with Nietzsche, Deleuze and Derrida, the paper conceptualises time as the origin of uncertainty and, thus, the advent of politics itself.
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Keywords: Egypt; ethnography; landscape; politics; post-structuralism; power

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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