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Three spaces of power: Territory, networks, plus a topological twist in the tale of domination and authority

Allen, John (2009). Three spaces of power: Territory, networks, plus a topological twist in the tale of domination and authority. Journal of Power, 2(2) pp. 197–212.

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In a manner analogous to Lukes' classic study of power in the early 1970s, this paper sets out three spatial vocabularies of power - territorial, networked and topological. Each spatial frame, it is suggested, has its usefulness in helping us to understand the ways in which power works itself out spatially. But, as in Lukes' study, the first two accounts of power are found wanting in certain respects; in this instance because of the limitations of the topographical framework which underpins them. In order to come to terms with the changing dynamics of a more complex, globalized world, it is argued that a topological appreciation of the workings of power is a better starting point. At a minimum, the paper sets out to show how the ability of powerful bodies to draw distant others within close reach or construct the close at hand at a distance, through relations of connection and simultaneity, opens up an understanding of power more in tune with the spatial reworkings of authority and influence today.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2009 Routledge
ISSN: 1754-0291
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 19877
Depositing User: John Allen
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2010 16:41
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 14:14
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