SEMINAR: SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES ANTHROPOLOGY & SOCIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES SEMESTER 1, 2020- Zoom Edition
| SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES ANTHROPOLOGY & SOCIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES SEMESTER 1, 2020- Zoom Edition : MARITIME POWER POLITICS IN THE INDO PACIFIC: THE REDISCOVERY OF SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS IN THE 21st CENTURY
Infrastructure hubs, such as ports are crucial sites for exploring new political geographies created by dynamic power relations. Infrastructures have long been taken as an indicator for state authority, border security, mobility and the possibility of becoming modern, of having a future, and of foreclosing of that possibility. (Larkin 2013). They are the fundamental basis for internal and external connectivity, an integral part of political geography that enables various registers of power to map onto each other, and more importantly represent a particular space which is a product of spatialized power and politics and meanwhile is capable of opening up new possibilities for space making. This research project investigates the transformations of political geographies around infrastructure hubs in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) funded by the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), especially the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Partnerships (IPP) in light of the topological frame of space and power.
To decode the shifts in political geographies around infrastructure, this project adopts topologies of power and space that incorporates the topographical surface as a component of topological spaces. This topological framework entails two approaches in understanding power and infrastructure. The first focuses on the multiple spaces of infrastructure sites: topographical, networked relational, and imaginary. The second approach captures the power relations that are folded into the multifaceted spaces: registers of power involved in space-making and distortion of proximities and distances, presence and absence, here and there. The analysis answers to: how various registers of power and authority are exercised, what and how new topological possibilities are created through the folding, stretching or distorting of relationships of power. The two approaches work together to interrogate the transformation of political geographies around infrastructure nodes.
Zhixin Chen is a PhD candidate at UWA researching maritime power politics and the rediscovery of islands in the Indo-Pacific region. Her research focuses on how the two regional architectures, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Indo-Pacific Partnerships, map onto each other and increase visibility of ports and islands in global outlook. She received her BA in the School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and an MA in the Australian Studies Centre in BFSU.
Zoom Session Details:
Dorinda 't Hart
Fri, 29 May 2020 14:30
Fri, 29 May 2020 15:30
Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Tue, 26 May 2020 10:34
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