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Our research themes

Our research themes

The research of GDSJ members cross-cuts five themes.  The group works through a range of methodological approaches with particular interests in participatory visual methods, immersive and experimental methods, film and social media analysis.

GDSJ brings together one of the largest cohorts of critical political geographers in the UK.  Strengths centre on popular geopolitics (Dodds, Pinkerton), creative geopolitics (Hawkins, Pinkerton, Squire), feminist and intimate geopolitics (Brickell, Hawkins, Lawreniuk), everyday geopolitics (Brickell, Siddiqi), vertical and subterranean geopolitics (Adey, Dodds, Hawkins, Jackman, Squire) and geolegality (Brickell). 

The Geopolitics and Security Blog was established in 2012 to provide a space for commentary, reflections, news, and critiques on some of the defining issues in geopolitics and security. Since it was established, over 500 posts have been published on issues ranging from Ebola to the role of technology in terrorism, alongside the production of key reading lists, calls for papers, and forthcoming events.  In addition to attracting a wide readership, the blog has also been cited by influential figures within academia and beyond, in international newspapers and media outlets including the Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Telegraph, and the Guardian, and forms an important component of student reading lists.

Scholars’ research engages in the study of different forms, processes and frames of mobility, often under forced circumstances and emergency situations.  Displacement is a particular thread running through GDSJ work and has historical and contemporary resonance in its focus on everyday experiences and practices of: evacuation during times of war, ‘peace’ and the aftermath of natural disaster (Adey, Pinkerton, Siddiqi); accumulation by dispossession in cities (Brickell, Desai, Dolton); and uncertain journeys taken by vulnerable groups including domestic violence survivors, asylum seekers, climate-vulnerable migrants and precarious migrant labourers (Bowstead, Lawreniuk, Parsons, Willis). 

GDSJ research spans a range of concerns about the governance of peoples’ lives in different places and spaces.  Much of this work speaks to questions of justice and rights in political, development, environmental and social and cultural realms and connects to various machineries of law (Brickell, Willis), diplomacy (Dodds, Pinkerton), activism (Brickell, Mould) emergency planning (Adey, Siddiqi) and resource management (Mistry).  GDSJ work encompasses important research, for example, on indigenous and citizenship rights (Eades, Mistry, Willis), territorial rights to air, ice, land and sea (Adey, Dodds, Pinkerton, Squire), the violent convergence of neoliberalism, (in)security, and dispossession central to work on rights to the city (Desai, Mould) and human rights with a trained lens on gender and age (Brickell, Bowstead, Dauncey, Desai, Lawreniuk, Willis).  Contestations, subversions and violences that engulf the pursuit and/or denial of justice and rights in various contexts is a thread that runs through GDSJ work.

GDSJ members embrace the study of the body, the finest of geopolitical scales, and do so mainly, but not exclusively, in relation to wounded or precarious bodies.  This includes diverse work on violence against women (Brickell, Bowstead), gender, poverty, and households (Brickell, Desai, Willis), military personnel and their families (Adey, Pinkerton), the ‘unmanned’ drone and the ‘target body’ (Jackman), and habitation in extreme environments (Squire).  Related research in GDSJ includes scholarship on intimate geographies of emotion, affect and atmosphere (Adey) and the mediation of intimacy and insecurity via social media platforms (Adey, Pinkerton).

A striking characteristic of GDSJ scholarship is its engagement with the elemental in different ways, including the geopolitics, geoaesthetics and environmental governance of earth and rock (Hawkins; Parsons; Squire), water (Desai; Siddiqi; Thorndycraft), ice (Dodds, Hawkins, Thorndycraft), air (Adey, Squire), and fire (Mistry).

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