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Performing security: the imaginative geographies of current US strategy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Campbell, Dr Sam Jeffrey, Dr Alison Williams



Political geographers have recently focused their attention on the performative nature and imaginative geographies of US security strategies. This work has illuminated a number of mechanisms through which geographical knowledge has been interpreted and reformulated to support specific political agendas. This paper builds upon and develops the insights of these recent studies, arguing that current US security strategies are constructed around a policy of integration, whereby states are encouraged, through a range of measures, to mesh with attitudes and perspectives on the world. It assesses the ways in which these integration strategies are being performed, through an analysis of US National Security Strategy documents, the works of writers such as Kagan and Barnett, and the imaginative geographies and popular geopolitical representations of the US and its enemies. This paper contends that these practices combine to produce the effects that they name, bringing to life an imaginary geography that mirrors and supports the particular logics of the US-led 'war on terror'. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bialasiewicz L, Campbell D, Elden S, Graham S, Jeffrey AS, Williams AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Political Geography

Year: 2007

Volume: 26

Issue: 4

Pages: 405-422

ISSN (print): 0962-6298

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5096


DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2006.12.002


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