Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College
My research engages with political geography around issues of sovereignty, state practices and the (re)pluralising of political space. I have a particular interest in how communities officially excluded from formal state politics are nevertheless engaging with aspects of statecraft, with my doctoral research focusing on the sovereign practices of the exile Tibetan government based in India.
- May 2010 – March 2011: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Geography, Politics & Sociology, Newcastle University
- September 2009 – April 2010: Managing Editor: Journals, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
- PhD, 2010 – Queen Mary University of London, 'Sovereignty without Territory? The political geographies of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile'
- MA, Geography, 2005 – Queen Mary University of London
- BA (Hons), Geography, 2004 – University of Cambridge
Intersecting with scholarship in political geography, critical international relations and political anthropology, my research interests lie in the everyday construction of statehood and sovereignty in cases of tenuous territoriality. My doctoral research ethnographically examined the political institutions and sovereign practices of the exile Tibetan government in India, an institution which engages in state-like functions despite being legally unrecognised and lacking jurisdiction over territory. This included work on exile elections and democracy, the displaced sovereignty of exile settlements, issues of citizenship and refugeehood and practices of governmentality around the construction of an exile population, civil society and nascent economy.
I am currently extending aspects of this PhD research around broader ideas of rehearsal statehood, the construction of legitimacy and the (re)pluralising of political space. Drawing on these themes I am also developing research projects on the following issues:
- Diplomatic practices and pedagogy of non-state actors
- Everyday geographies of peace
- Sovereign futures of small island states faced with uninhabitable or disappearing territory due to rising sea levels
- McConnell, F., forthcoming, 'Citizens and refugees: constructing and negotiating Tibetan political and legal identities in exile' Annals of the Association of American Geographers
- McConnell, F., Megoran, N., and Williams, P. (eds), forthcoming, Geographies of Peace London: IB Tauris
- McConnell, F., forthcoming, 'The geopolitics of Buddhist reincarnation: contested futures of Tibetan leadership', Area
- McConnell, F., 2013, 'Sovereignty' in The Ashgate Companion to Critical Geopolitics, K. Dodds, M. Kuus and J. Sharp (Eds.), Aldershot: Ashgate
- McConnell, F., Moreau, T., and Dittmer, J. 2012, 'Mimicking state diplomacy: the legitimizing strategies of unofficial diplomacies' Geoforum 43 (4), 804—814
- Springer, S., Chi, H., Crampton, J., McConnell, F., Cupples, J., Warf, B., & Attewell, W. 2012, 'Interventions on the ruptures and transgressions of WikiLeaks', Geopolitics 17 (3), 681—711
- McConnell, F., 2012, 'Governmentality to practice the state? constructing a Tibetan population in exile' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30 (1), 78—95
- McConnell, F., 2011, 'A state within a state? Legal and welfare relations between India and the Tibetan community and government-in-exile' Contemporary South Asia 19 (3), 297—313
- McConnell, F., 2011, Exile Tibetan Elections 2011, Briefing report for parliamentarians, Office of Tibet, London
- McConnell, F., 2011, 'Review Essay: Borders and Borderlands: Windows on Statecraft', Political Geography 30 (2), 111—114
- McConnell, F., 2011, Review of Higate, P. and Henry, M. 2009: Insecure Spaces: Peacekeeping, Power and Performance in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia. London: Zed Books, Progress in Development Studies 11, 170—172
- Williams, P. and McConnell, F., 2011, 'Critical Geographies of Peace' Antipode 43 (4), 927—931
- McConnell, F., 2011, Questioning legitimacy: an OpEd to mark the inauguration of the first secular Kalon Tripa, International Tibet Network, http://www.tibetnetwork.org/questioninglegitimacy
- McConnell, F., 2010, 'The Fallacy and the Promise of the Territorial Trap: Sovereign Articulations of Geopolitical Anomalies'. Geopolitics 15 (4), 762 — 768
- Gardner, R., Dodds, K., Souch., C and McConnell, F., 2010, Communicating Geographical Research Beyond the Academy RGS-IBG, www.rgs.org/CommunicatingResearch
- McConnell, F., 2009, 'De facto, Displaced, Tacit: The Sovereign Articulations of the Tibetan Government-in-exile,' Political Geography 28 (6), 343—352.
- McConnell, F., 2009, 'Governments-in-Exile: Statehood, Statelessness and the Reconfiguration of Territory and Sovereignty', Geography Compass 3 (5), 1902—1919.
- McConnell, F., 2009, 'Democracy-in-exile: the 'uniqueness' and limitations of exile Tibetan democracy,' Sociological Bulletin 58 (1), 115—144.
- Geography tripos - Part IA - Supervisor, Human Geography: People, Place and the Politics of Difference
- PPS tripos - Part IIB - Lecturer, The History and Politics of South Asia
- Editor, Political Geography section, Geography Compass
- Board of Directors, Tibet Justice Center, www.tibetjustice.org
- Committee member, RGS-IBG Political Geography Research Group
- Contributing Editor, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 2010-2014
- Fellow, Royal Geographical Society with IBG
- Member, Association of American Geographers