Material determinism and beyond : spatial categories in the study of violent conflict

Chojnacki, Sven ; Engels, Bettina


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Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: SFB 700 FU Berlin
Schriftenreihe: SFB-Governance working paper series
Bandnummer: 55
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2013
Publikationsdatum: 07.04.2015
Originalveröffentlichung: (2013)
SWD-Schlagwörter: Internationale Konflikte , Gewalt , Bürgerkrieg
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.75 (Internationale Konflikte: Allgemeines), 89.76 (Friedensforschung, Konfliktforschung)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

This paper reviews recent debates in peace and conflict studies on the theoretical and empirical integration of spatial categories. We examine three notable strands of research. The first consists of studies that analyze the influence of topography, borders, and resource availability on the occurrence of international and intra-state war. The second strand comprises recent studies in civil war research focusing on territory and territorial control. The third strand is the debate on so-called environmental conflicts. We argue that most studies in all three fields are limited to the analysis of allegedly external material influences on violent conflict, failing to take into account the social and political meaning of physical materiality. We examine how recent research methodologically deals with interrelated scales (local, national, global). We argue that an analysis of the relationship between space and conflict should encompass both the materiality of space and its social meaning, and that these two aspects find themselves in a mutually constitutive relationship. Spatial theory therefore provides a useful approach.

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