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The Politics-State-Space research cluster reflects cutting-edge and diverse work carried out at the department in political geography and geopolitics. It aims to foster new critical engagements with the inquiry of the political, its practices and conceptual horizons.

At the core of PSS lays a shared commitment to understanding how various geographies give form to the political. Our work is inspired by the political urgencies of the present, while seeking broader historical contexts and conceptual links. Specifically, our research engages with the broad geographic questions concerning the changing nature of sovereignty, territory, citizenship while seeking to challenge existing analytical paradigms, illuminate alternative conceptual frameworks and draw links to diverse engagements with the political within and beyond the discipline. As a cluster, we draw inspiration from political practice at different registers, by a broad set of actors and at more or less obvious spaces, from the archives of war and asylum activism, to the political ontology of ice, and to Indigenous territorial claims. Equally, our work interrogates the mediums of political representation, from algorithmic data and to embodied and literary forms.

The work of the cluster is centred on three sets of related activities: international workshops, departmental seminars and a series of research-enhancing activities, including reading groups, semi-structured research conversations, and social events.

Cluster Members

Name Position Research Interests
Professor Ben Anderson Professor Theories of affect and emotion; affective politics; neoliberalism and populism; events; futures; non-representational theories
Dr Penelope Anthias Assistant Professor Extractivism; territory; land rights; indigeneity; governmentality; decolonisation; Bolivia (Chaco)
Dr Andrew Baldwin Associate Professor Geographies of race and nature, political geography, migration/displacement, climate change, Anthropocene, political economy of adaptation
Dr Sage Brice British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow Gender and identity, multi-species landscapes, wetlands, Israel-Palestine, creative methods, art-geography, queer ecologies
Professor Gavin Bridge Professor extractive economies; energy transition; natural resources; geographies of energy; political ecologies of resource production and investment; political economy of fossil fuels; global production networks
Professor Harriet Bulkeley Professor Environmental governance; climate change; urban infrastructure; urban sustainability; nature and biodiversity; energy transitions; socio-technical systems; sustainable finance; urban political ecology; governmentality 
Dr Jonathan Darling Associate Professor Asylum; refugees; political geography; migration; borders; urban politics
Dr Elizabeth Johnson Associate Professor Science and Technology Studies; Political Ecology; More-than-human Geographies; Bioscience & Society; Bioeconomies; Oceanic Geographies; Anthropocene
Dr Meghan Kelly Assistant Professor Feminist mapping, Critical GIS, cartography, feminist digital geographies, visual storytelling, design justice
Dr Sarah Knuth Associate Professor Political and cultural economy; political ecology; green economy; energy and climate justice; urban built environments and infrastructure; financial geographies; technology and industrial policy; fiscal politics and the state; value and devaluation
Dr Jessica Lehman Assistant Professor Science and technology studies; environmental politics; oceans; resource geographies; feminist and queer theory; postcolonial and decolonial geographies; political ecology; climate change
Dr Noam Leshem Associate Professor Political geography; war & violent conflict; displacement; creative practice; political theory; testimony and witnessing; cultural history; settler colonial & decolonial geographies;
Dr Lauren Martin Associate Professor Political geography, carceral geographies, political economies of borders and migration control, datafication and digitalisation of mobility controls. 
Professor Cheryl McEwan Professor Postcolonial and decolonial theory; cultural economy; sustainable consumption; political ecology; Anthropocene; South Africa; sub-Saharan Africa; art as social practice
Professor Colin McFarlane Professor Cities; urban politics; urban theory; poverty and inequality; infrastructure; density; urban knowledge
Dr Siobhán McGrath Associate Professor Work, labour & employment; unfree / trafficked / forced / 'slave' labour; 'anti-slavery' & contemporary abolitionism; Global Production Networks;  social reproduction; political economy; development geography; labour and migration; post-work; policy mobilities; Brazil
Dr Leonie Newhouse Assistant Professor Displacement, refugees, and migration; humanitarianism and development; conflict, post-conflict and peace building; land; urban theory from the South; Sub-Saharan Africa (East Africa, the Horn, the Sahel)
Dr Marijn Nieuwenhuis Assistant Professor Elemental geographies; creative methods; Chinese geographies; poetics; arts; breathing; weathers; political geographies; phenomenologies
Professor Joe Painter Professor Political geography; state theory; citizenship; urban and regional politics and governance; theories of territory; social innovation; localism, local governance and community action; politics of everyday life; art, creativity and urban politics;
Professor Marcus Power Professor Development; geopolitics; energy; infrastructure; visual geographies and methodologies; China-Africa; decolonisation; subaltern geographies; decolonial and postcolonial theory
Professor Anna Secor Professor Difference; space; (geo)politics; psychotopologies; Iraqi refugee resettlement to the US; Turkey
Professor Philip Steinberg Professor Political geography; materialities; mobilities; political cultures, visualisations, and imaginaries; sovereignties; extra-state governance; law; borders; oceans; Arctic
Dr Helen F. Wilson Associate Professor Encounter; encounterable life; difference; cities; urban politics; multiculture; avian geographies; conflict management; postcolonial theory; environmental humanities