Spheres of influence

Ortmann, Stefanie (2020) Spheres of influence. In: Moisio, Sami, Koch, Natalie, Jonas, Andrew E G, Lizotte, Christopher and Luukkonen, Juho (eds.) Handbook on the changing geographies of the state: new spaces of geopolitics. Social and Political Science 2020 . Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 313-324. ISBN 9781788978040

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However compelling the narrative of a ‘return of spheres of influence’ appears, it is both empirically limited and normatively problematic. The concept evokes assumptions about a world dominated by Great Powers, but also an ontology of space as fixed, bounded territory under the exclusive control of a powerful state actor. It denies local agency in depicting spheres of influence as territory that is essentially passive and empty, fought over by outside actors. These assumptions are misleading, unable to capture the complex entanglements of relations and processes that co-produce state, space and power at the present global juncture. They produce much more fluid spatialities, the result of both historical legacies and the transformation of state power over the past few decades. This is visible in Russia’s relations with the former Soviet Union, where forms of Russian power are ill-described by the ontological assumptions of ‘spheres of influence’.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2020 07:55
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020 07:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/94471

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