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Re-Orientating Vertical Geopolitics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Williams


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Geopolitics has a tradition of adopting a downward looking view-from-above, which is imbued with an imperialistic ‘god's eye’ perspective. Although acknowledged and critiqued, this paper argues that it needs to be actively re-orientated to encompass the discourses and practices of looking up. The paper analyses the practices of looking up and surveilling the sky through which air defence is achieved. It interrogates the ways in which UK air defence is represented in official documents and analyses the activities of the Royal Air Force's Air Surveillance and Control System. The paper argues that this system enacts a vertical geopolitics that goes beyond those understood in other geopolitical literatures and offers suggestions for developing our understandings of a volumetric vertical geopolitics that recognises the aerial view as generated from below as well as from above.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Williams AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geopolitics

Year: 2013

Volume: 18

Issue: 1

Pages: 225-246

Print publication date: 03/01/2013

ISSN (print): 1465-0045

ISSN (electronic): 1557-3028

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2012.717237


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