The contemporary condition may be understood as being structured partly around “hub and flow imaginaries” and related “exceptional” spatial formations that are its constituents. In our reading, the contemporary processes associated with hubs and flows and the set of other “relational spaces” of post-Fordist urbanization do not signal a de-territorial geoeconomic condition in which the territorial state is hollowed out. Rather, these imaginaries reveal the back-and-forth nature of the contemporary state’s territoriality. At the present conjuncture, the state constantly seeks to re-territorialize, nationalize and “fix in place” the relational spaces of contemporary capitalism. But at the same time, governments seek to de-territorialize and internationalize the state through increasingly spatially selective strategies in order to be connected to all sorts of “global networks” of money, talent, innovations and ideas. Our work in this project seeks to disclose the ways in which states are spatially transformed within such a process, and how the “urbanization of the nation state” (Moisio 2018) takes place through social practices ranging from spatial planning to urban consultancy.
In this project, we interrogate the spatial transformation of states, cities and supranational political entities. We are interested in the ways in which states and cities are currently being transnationalized, and how this transformation takes place through inherited “national” welfare state structures. Empirically, we focus in particular on statist social practices of spatial planning, regional development, education and the so-called knowledge-based economy.
We are currently putting together a major research handbook titled Handbook on the changing geographies of the state: New spaces of geopolitics with Edward Elgar Publishing (under contract, expected publication in 2020).
Dr Salla Jokela, post-doc researcher
Dr Christopher Lizotte, post-doc researcher
Dr Juho Luukkonen, post-doc researcher
MSc Ilppo Soininvaara, PhD candidate