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Rethinking enclosure: Space, subjectivity and the commons

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sam Jeffrey


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While concepts of ‘enclosure’ and the ‘commons’ are becoming increasingly popular in critical geography, there have been few attempts to think them together. This paper sets out a dialectic of enclosure-commons as a means for thinking through contemporary processes of exclusion, violence and alterity. We examine what is at stake through a geographical reading of enclosure, that is, the processes through which neoliberalism works through - and summons into existence - certain forms of spatiality and subjectivity. In doing so we confront the spatialities of enclosure’s ‘other’: strategies and practices of commoning which assemble more inclusive, just and sustainable spaces. We examine the materiality of enclosure across a range of sites, from processes of walling to a more substantial assessment of the diverse assemblage of materials and subjectivities drawn into modalities of enclosure. We go on to explore the inscription of enclosure on the human body through an examination of, firstly, law, and second, biopolitics. In conclusion, we explore the implications of this argument for critical geographical scholarship.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jeffrey A, McFarlane C, Vasudevan A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antipode

Year: 2012

Volume: 44

Issue: 4

Pages: 1247-1267

Print publication date: 14/11/2011

ISSN (print): 0066-4812

ISSN (electronic): 1467-8330

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00954.x


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