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Montage space: Borderlands, micronations, terra nullius, and the imperialism of the geographical imagination

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James RidingORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article extends work in human geography on thinking space relationally and topological space, arguing for a relational conceptualization of space that employs montage in small seemingly confined spaces to tell big relational stories. Empirically it explores a micronation projected onto watery western Balkan no-man's [sic] land and reveals an exploitation of Balkan history and geography that underpins perceptions of the southeast European peninsula. Liberland is a new right-libertarian unofficial country that claims a disputed tract of middle Danube riverbank in a contested riverine borderscape between Croatia and Serbia, where the fantasy geography of emptiness and terra nullius reappears in a new imperial present. The hackneyed performances that self-proclaimed micronations undertake to legitimize themselves are placed alongside a relational story of regional cultural landscape and more-than-human geographies in this fluvial political–ecological borderland in order to undermine alt-right libertarianism, Balkanism, and imperialism.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Riding J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Dialogues in Human Geography

Year: 2022

Volume: 12

Issue: 2

Pages: 278-301

Print publication date: 01/07/2022

Online publication date: 23/05/2022

Acceptance date: 05/02/2021

Date deposited: 06/06/2022

ISSN (print): 2043-8206

ISSN (electronic): 2043-8214

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177%2F20438206221102597


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