Topologies of Power
Beyond territory and networks
By John Allen
Routledge – 2015 – 224 pages
Topologies of Power amounts to a departure in the way that geography and power have been understood. It calls into question the very idea that power is simply extended across a given territory or network. The pervasive quality of governments to reach into our lives, the ability of far flung corporations to register their presence at close quarters and the ease with which NGOS fold global harms into local campaigns, all speak to a world in which distance is no longer a question of what is near and what is far. Such actions speak to a world in which proximity and distance play across one another, where topology not topography offers a better grasp of the workings of power today.
Drawing upon a diverse range of case studies, this book will be invaluable for students in human geography, politics, cultural studies, STS and urban studies.
1. Introduction: Power’s Shifting Geographies Part I: Topological Twists 2. Topological Landscapes: Beyond Territory and Networks 3. Topologies of Power: A More Ambiguous Spatiality 4. Untold Power, or the Power that Masks Zero-Sum Outcomes Part II: Powers of Reach 5. Jumped-up Powers?: Social Movements and the Mobilization of ‘Publics’ 6. Far-reaching Powers: Finance and the Engineering of Presence 7. Entangled Powers: Agribusiness and ‘Global’ Pandemics 8. Conclusion: Distant Proximities of Power
John Allen is Professor of Economic Geography in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University. He had authored or edited thirteen books, half of which are Open University undergraduate teaching texts. He is a member of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences and has held visiting professorships at various universities in mainland Europe and Australia.