A Book Trilogy on the Creation of (Western) Global Spaces

On the Creation of (Western) Global Spaces is a wider project led by Prof. Luis Lobo-Guerrero from the University of Groningen, and supported by the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies (GLOKNOs, University of Cambridge), devoted to exploring how the problem of connectivity relates to the (im)material creation of (Western) global spaces in time.

Its outcome is a trilogy of edited volumes that addresses connectivity as a category of thought that enables particular forms of political orders, reveals the exercise of specific relationships of power, and materialises in regimes of governance in given times and spaces.

It is based on the observation that connectivity is usually invoked but normally not thought of and reflected upon. It is difficult to think of it in the abstract, although it becomes visible when approached in relation to any political and spatial practice. It allows deep reflections on the complex conditions of possibility of the terms under which something is made to connect and disconnect, or remain connected. An apparently banal problem, it enshrines the very practice of politics and the production of space(s), and allows for, as Michael Shapiro put it in his review of the first volume, a creative indisciplinarity. The trilogy aims to firmly locate connectivity as a central problem in the analysis of order, power, and governance in time and space.

The first volume, Imaginaries of Connectivity and the Creation of Novel Spaces of Governance, addresses the problem of how the creation of novel spaces of governance relates to imaginaries of connectivity in particular historical and geographical settings.

The second volume, Mapping, Connectivity, and the Making of European Empires, explores the problem of connectivity in relation to the use of maps and mapping practices in the attempt to make modern European empires.

The third volume, currently at a stage of conception, will explore the problem of navigation and connectivity in relation to the invention of spatial orders.

Common to all three volumes are the active practices of creation, making, and invention, which betray political agency. Focusing on imaginaries, mapping, and navigation as complex empirical sites of investigation, the books seek to ‘ground’ the analysis of connectivity on specific fields of power relations. Analysing novel spaces of governance, European empires, and spatial orders as connectivity effects, the volumes aim to make a distinct contribution to the study of connectivity as productive of specific spatial-political formations.