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Department of Geography


State formation between law, society and informality

In this research strand we are interested in using the concept of infrastructure as a means to cultivate new questions regarding the performance and materiality of the state. Advancing current post-structural and post-foundational approaches to state power, we are keen to explore understandings of the sites, bodies, materials and affects through which sovereignty is made meaningful and legitimate. This research has led to considerations of the role of new legal systems in the consolidation of post-conflict states; the nature and purpose of diplomacy and paradiplomacy; the everyday embodiment of state institutions, and the production of ideas of formality/informality in the operation of state power.

Research projects

Research projects currently being undertaken on this theme include:

'Fair' community benefits and equitable land governance

'Fair' community benefits and equitable land governance

During the last two decades, large-scale acquisition of agricultural and forest land, especially in rapidly developing and emerging economies, has become a key development challenge. While land is a key resource for development projects, there is a growing concern that people's connection to their lands and livelihoods is being undermined and they are not being fairly compensated.

Earlier projects