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Infrastructures: Anthrogeographies of the state as an absent presence
Elisabeth Kirtsoglou (Durham University)
Antonis Vradis (University of St Andrews)
Yael Navaro (University of Cambridge)
Monday 14 September, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00

Short abstract:

The panel focuses on tangible and intangible infrastructures as non-unitary manifestations of state power. Through development,bordering, encampment-related infrastructures, policies and bureaucracies we discuss the state as an assemblage of often incoherent, (im)material spatiotemporal performances

Long abstract:

This panel wishes to discuss the role of infrastructures in the materialisation of state power and violence. It follows recent theorisations of the state as a non-unitary array of practices and seeks to document the manner in which state presence and power are established through multiple and often contradictory and ambiguous performances. We call for papers that investigate tangible and intangible infrastructures as material, immaterial, institutional and/or affective manifestations of the emergence of the time and space of the state that produce and reinforce imaginary communities of citizens, but also conditions of non-citizenship, or partial citizenship. Our aim is to bring together papers that discuss examples of all kinds of development, gentrification, bordering and encampment-related infrastructures, but also rules, regulations and bureaucracies as intangible infrastructures. Through different cases that cross the boundaries between social anthropology and human geography we want to investigate the state as an assemblage of practices, materialities and policies that establish its spatiotemporal existence and legitimacy in a performative fashion. We are also interested in cases when the coherence of the state becomes elusive and oscillates between presence and absence, depending upon the faculties of hope, imagination and historicity, notions of the past or the future.

Key words: Infrastructures, state, material, immaterial, time, space, performance.