Is the ‘hybrid turn’ a ‘spatial turn’? A geographical perspective on hybridity and state-formation in the Western Pacific

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Our point of departure is the emerging critique of the problematic
    treatment of scale across various disciplinary engagements with
    hybridity. Adopting an overarching state-formation perspective,
    we extend this geographical critique by combining the sociospatial
    lenses of scale and territory in an analysis of one of the primary
    animators of political economic change and contestation in postcolonial
    Melanesia: extractive resource capitalism. Focusing on the
    Solomons Group of islands, we examine two spatial phenomena
    at the core of the contentious and frequently violent politics of
    extraction animating processes of state-formation in these settings:
    the social and historical production of islands as a scale/territory of
    violent struggle; and the emergence of the ‘ideology of customary
    landownership’ as a territorialising and exclusionary project that
    also has salient scalar dimensions. While these phenomena illustrate
    the inadequacy of hybridity’s crude spatial ontology, they also
    demonstrate how hybridity perspectives can play a role in achieving
    ‘thick description’ of the complex interactions involved in spatialised
    political economic processes. We conclude by sketching out some
    agendas for research on the political economy of resource extraction
    – and, more broadly, state-formation – in the western Pacific that
    combine spatial perspectives with those of the critical hybridity
    literature across various social science fields.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    JournalThird World Thematics
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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