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State transformation, territorial politics and the management of transnational risk

Hameiri, S. (2011) State transformation, territorial politics and the management of transnational risk. International Relations, 25 (3). pp. 381-397.

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The perceived emergence in recent years of potentially cataclysmic transnational risks has been a growing concern for policymakers and practitioners, as well as an area of considerable scholarly interest. Existing sociological approaches to the study of risk, which have become influential in a range of related social scientific fields, highlight important dimensions of this phenomenon, but are unable to adequately explain why these risk depictions have emerged at this historical juncture. Nor are they capable of providing a systematic explanation for variation in the adoption of risk depictions and related modes of governance in different functional areas and geographic regions. Drawing on the insights of political economy and critical political geography, it is argued that the current preponderance of transnational risk depictions and associated modes of governance should be understood in the context of processes of state transformation, linked to the transnationalisation of finance and production, which challenge the fit between state power and national territorial borders. From this perspective, risk and risk management are mechanisms in a contested process of rescaling, in which governance functions traditionally associated with the national state are shifted to regional or even global modes of governance. Understanding the dynamics of this territorial politics is important for learning about the current and evolving nature of political rule within and beyond the state.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2011
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