Wondering about the creation of global spaces

When we wake up in the morning to inhabit a highly interconnected globalized world, which we conceive of in our ‘Western’ imaginary of space, little do we stop to think about how all this was made possible, and under which specific conditions. Global spaces, in their specific Western modalities, be them in the cyber, terrestrial, and celestial domains, are not given but highly sophisticated ‘connectivity effects’ that enable, or constraint, our being in the world.

The book trilogy that this website disseminates has been conceived as an adventure of wondering about how these ‘Western’ global spaces came into being. It is a collective reflection on some of the elements that have made them possible. But most importantly it is as a critique of how these conditions have been, and can be, different. In other words, the trilogy seeks to demystify the idea that the ‘Western’ globalizations we inhabit are inevitable and are the result of logical causal progression. 

The trilogy does this through three deeply interrelated volumes dealing, respectively, with the problems of imaginaries of connectivity, mapping and connectivity, and navigation and connectivity. The thread of connectivity allows us to move beyond the description of connections and their effects, such as territorial states, geographical regions, global organizations, markets, knowledge systems, to name but a few, and dive into the careful analysis of the very terms under which things are connected. Those terms matter since it is there where relationships of power take place. It is not simply about knowing that a global capitalist economy coordinates markets around the world, but about understanding what makes the idea of markets possible and operable, what sets of power relations intervene in creating the institutions upon which such coordination takes place, and what technologies of governance create the subjects of the system. 

The terms under which all these elements are made to connect are what interests us in these volumes. In particular, we wonder about the spaces that result from connecting things together in time. We resort to mental contexts (imaginaries), cartographic devices and practices (mapping), and orientation techniques and principles (navigation). To do so we think collectively, bringing together scholars of different career stages and fields of work, such as international relations, geography, history, anthropology, and cultural studies. The result is a set of highly provocative critical texts that invite further reflection about how we come to conceive of global spaces in time and how these can always be different. 

As any scholarly work worth our while, the three volumes and their chapters remain thought-in-process, and authors and editors are open to discussion and debate. Please do contact us if you would like to discuss some of the ideas. 

Finally, this website provides you with an opportunity to know the authors better through brief interviews on their work. Please watch them ‘care’-fully and critically and let’s get the discussions going. 

I hope you enjoy the trilogy at least as much as I have done so conceiving of it and putting it together with my fellow editors in each volume. 

Luis Lobo-Guerrero

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