Political Geography


This is a growing interdisciplinary field of research at UBC. Drawing on political and cultural theory as well as critical geopolitics, it traces the connections between the spaces of geopolitics and the lives of ordinary people ‘on the ground’ and so traverses the transnational, the national and the local. En route, it engages with the politics of identities and geopolitical representation, with questions of power, space and political transition, and with discourses of rights and security politics. These themes are explored mostly through qualitative and interpretive approaches. Current research topics include discourses of security, European Union external relations, war and political violence in the Middle East, an historical geography of bombing, immigration and human rights, geographies of war and environmental security.

Faculty working on Political Geography

Peter Wall Distinguished Professor

My research focuses on the emergence of later modern war. It involves two major projects. The first is a genealogy and geography of aerial violence over the last hundred years or so and its transformation of the battle space and the identities of those who inhabit it. The second is a genealogy and geography of medical care and casualty evacuation from war zones: the Western Front in the First World War, the deserts of North Africa in the Second, Vietnam, and Afghanistan; it also examines contemporary attacks on hospitals, medical personnel and patients in Afghanistan and Syria.


My work focuses on political geography, especially on geopolitics and security, the transformations of state power, and policy processes on multiple scales. Blending insights from international relations, anthropology, and sociology in addition to political and economic geography, I study the production of expert knowledge in national and transnational regulatory institutions.


My research interests bring together political geography, political ecology, and war studies. I have focused most of my work on the links between natural resources and armed conflicts, but also examined the political economy of war and reconstruction, the resource curse, corruption, as well as natural disasters and political crises.