|Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs||IM117, Al Qasimi Building||+44 (0) 191 33 45687|
Oliver Belcher's research is at the intersection of political philosophy, geography, and global environmental politics. He has a long-standing interest in the technological dimensions of American imperialism, especially the history of computing and social sciences in the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars.
His current research focuses primarily on the politics of science in Hannah Arendt's political philosophy.
With colleagues at Lancaster University's Environmental Centre (LEC), he is engaged in a long-term project on the role of military emissions in global environmental change.
Oliver's research has been funded by the British Academy and ESRC.
- Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Science and Nature
This project interrogates the politics of science and nature in the works of Hannah Arendt. It builds on the work initially undertaken with Dr Jeremy Schmidt (Durham University) on Arendt's unique take on science as political action in the late-modern world, and published in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Arendt's approach to 'nature' is equally novel, as it informs - often in a negative sense - all of the major categories of her political theory (freedom, action, process praxis v. poeisis, etc.). This book project will be the first systematic treatment of science and nature across the span of Arendt's oeuvre.
- Hidden Carbon Costs of Global US Military Operations
This ESRC-funded project (2021-2023) examines the US military as a major climate actor, and its oversized institutional role in producing carbon emissions and global environmental change. I am working with Ben Neimark (Lancaster) and Kirsti Ashworth (Lancaster) to combine the insights of political ecology with those of critical geopolitics to examine the material-ecological metabolic flows (e.g., hydrocarbon-based fuels, concrete, water, sand) enacted through US military supply chains. This research draws hitherto unexplored links between critical logistics and supply studies, geopolitics, and political ecology with the purpose of setting forth a new research agenda in geopolitical ecology.
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
PhD, University of British Columbia (2014)
MA, University of Kentucky (2007)
BA, University of Kentucky (2005)
- Hannah Arendt
- Marxist International Relations
- Political Theory
- Critical Infrastructure and Supply Studies
- Climate Politics
- 2020: Mahoney Prize, The Special Interest Group for Computing, Information, and Society (SIGCIS): Received for “Sensing, Territory, Population: Computation, Embodied Sensors, and Hamlet Control in the Vietnam War,” Security Dialogue 50.5, 416-436 (2019).
The ;Mahoney Prize ;recognizes an outstanding article in the history of computing and information technology, broadly conceived.
- 2019: Virginie Mamadouh Outstanding Research Award, Political Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers: Received for ;“Anatomy of a Village Razing: Counterinsurgency, Violence, and Securing the Intimate in Afghanistan” (Political Geography 2018)
Chapter in book
- Belcher, O & Martin, L (2019). The Problem of Access: Site Visits, Selective Disclosure, and Freedom of Information in Qualitative Security Research. In Secrecy and Methods in Security Research: A Guide to Qualitative Fieldwork. de Goede, M, Bosma, E & Pallister-Wilkins, P Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge. 33-47.
- Belcher, O (2017). "Peacekeeping". In The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Richardson, D, Castree, N, Goodchild, M, Kobayashi, A, Liu, W & Marston, R Wiley-Blackwell. 1-3.
- Belcher, O (2016). "Data Anxieties: Objectivity and Difference in Early Vietnam War Computing". In Algorithmic Life: Calculative Devices in a Digital Age. Amoore, L & Piotukh, V Routledge. 127-142.
- Samers, M, Bigger, P & Belcher, O (2015). "To Build Another World: Activism in Light of Marxist Geographical Thought". In Approaches to Human Geography. Aitken, S & Valentine, G Sage. 344-360.
- Belcher, O (2015). "Tribal Militias, Neo-Orientalism, and the U.S. Military's Art of Coercion". In War, Police, and Assemblages of Intervention. Bachmann, J, Bell, C & Holmqvist, C Routledge. 109-125.
- Belcher, Oliver & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2021). Being Earthbound: Arendt, Process, and Alienation in the Anthropocene. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 39(1): 103-120.
- Belcher, O, Neimark, B & Bigger, P (2020). The U.S. military is not sustainable. Science 367(6481): 989-990.
- Belcher, O, Bigger, P, Neimark, B & Kennelly, C (2020). Hidden carbon costs of the “everywhere war” Logistics, geopolitical ecology, and the carbon boot‐print of the US military. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 45(1): 65-80.
- Belcher, Oliver (2019). Sensing, territory, population: Computation, embodied sensors, and hamlet control in the Vietnam War. Security Dialogue 50(5): 416-436.
- Belcher, Oliver (2018). Anatomy of a village razing: Counterinsurgency, violence, and securing the intimate in Afghanistan. Political Geography 62: 94-105.
- Belcher, O & Tazzioli, M (2015). "Postcolonial Theory Now: an Interview with Ann Laura Stoler". Darkmatter Journal: In the Ruins of Empire 12(1).
- Belcher, O, Martin, L & Tazzioli, M (2015). "Border Struggles: Epistemologies, Ontologies, Politics". Darkmatter Journal: In the Ruins of Empire 12(1): 1-12.
- Belcher, O (2014). "Staging the Orient: Counterinsurgency Training Sites and the U.S. Military Imagination". Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104(5): 1012-1029.
- Belcher, O & Martin, L (2013). "Ethnographies of Closed Doors: Conceptualizing Openness and Closure in US Immigration and Military Institutions". Area 45(4): 403-410.
- Belcher, O (2012). "The Best-Laid Schemes: Postcolonialism, Military Social Science, and the Making of US Counterinsurgency Doctrine, 1947-2009". Antipode 44(1): 258-263.
- Belcher, O (2011). "The Occupied Palestinian Territories and Late-Modern Wars". Human Geography 4(1): 1-11.
- Belcher, O (2008). "Fatal Distraction: The Violent Materialities of Guantanamo Bay". Human Geography 1(2): 106-117.
- Belcher, O (2008). "The Ability to Look". disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory 17: 42-43.
- Belcher, O, Martin, L, Secor, A, Simon, S & Wilson, T (2008). "Everywhere and Nowhere: The Exception and the Topological Challenge to Geography". Antipode 40(4): 499-503.