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Spatializing Politics

Spatializing Politics

Essays on Power and Place

Edited by Delia Duong Ba Wendel and Fallon Samuels Aidoo

ISBN 9781934510469

Publication date: 02/15/2016

Spatializing Politics is an anthology of emerging scholarship that treats built and imagined spaces as critical to knowing political power. In academic and popular discourse, spaces tend to serve as passive containers, symbols, or geographical coordinates for political theories, ideologies, and histories. By contrast, the essays in this collection illustrate how buildings and landscapes as disparate as Rust Belt railway stations and rural Rwandan hills become tools of political action and frameworks for political authority. Each chapter features original research on the spatial production of conflict and consensus, which ranges from exclusion and incarceration to reclamation and reconciliation. By focusing on the architects and spaces of political empowerment, the anthology fills a critical gap in studies of space and politics in anthropology, architectural history, conflict studies, geography, public policy, science/technology studies, and urban planning. These essays also demonstrate the global, historical, and contemporary relevance of thinking spatially for political action. Altogether, this multidisciplinary collection puts forward various spatial epistemologies that conceptualize, concretize, and contest forms of spatial politics.


  • Invoking geographical theorists such as Harvey, Massey, McCann, and Soja, the level of intellectual cross-pollination is refreshing… The essays shed light on varying forms of state power and of resistance efforts in order to articulate dissent over the reconstruction of space that invariably benefits the entrenched interests driving the state… The book as a whole represents a consistent engagement with various forms of spatial politics across scales, but always reminds the reader of individual-scale processes. These chapters are well-theorized case studies, as the various theoretical underpinnings the authors leverage demonstrate their explanatory power. The collection’s strength is the varying takes on space and power, providing excellent analyses for scholars and students from geography and planning to sociology and anthropology.

    —Darren Purcell, Technology and Culture


  • Delia Duong Ba Wendel is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning at Harvard University.
  • Fallon Samuels Aidoo is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 432 pages
  • 6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design