F.N. Wagner (Neta-Paulina)

Promovendus - Sociale Geografie

F.N. Wagner (Neta-Paulina)

Heyendaalseweg 141


Postbus 9108

Werkdagen maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag

Neta-Paulina’s PhD project revisits Agnew’s concept of the territorial trap. The trap continues to result in reductionist analyses and denies alternative possibilities for political practices other than continued fragmentation of territorial states into smaller states or the creation of super states. In practical politics, one finds the same geographical assumptions that make the trap framed as emancipation. Here, the sovereign territorial state is portrayed as a ‘natural container’ of society, with a clear and performative definition of inside and outside. This strong imaginary is framed as a Utopia, in particular by populist parties, and as dystopia by those opposed. So far, academic endeavours to escape the trap have generally yielded poor results. In particular, little attention has been paid to how the trap is framed in terms of utopia/dystopia. This connection to imaginary geographies is seen here as a crucial element in addressing the territorial trap and presents the core challenge of this project.
To analyse how and why the territorial trap is connected to our visions of the future, the project explores the three aspects of the territorial trap:
1. The concept itself, how it has travelled and evolved within academia and how we have engaged with it in the past.
2. How the trap influences practical politics, and how current engagement comes with concerted efforts evoking power-laden imaginary geographies;
3. How the trap may be overcome.
Doing so, the project furthers our understanding of the limitations placed on our visions of the future. The third aspect also allows practical politics to rethink these very contexts beyond the limitations of methodological nationalism and the impasses of our trapped imagination.

Previous research includes a focus on the b/ordering process in Israel/Palestine and the role of imaginary geography in the acceptability of the two-state solution to Israelis and Palestinians.


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