Spaces/spatialities of exception

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The concept of space of exception is commonly used to refer to extraterritorial spaces in which the law is suspended in the name of a political emergency and where power can be exercised without legal restraint. Closely associated with the concept of state of exception, which plays a fundamental role within political philosophies of biopolitics and contemporary sovereign power, geographers have drawn on the conceptual vocabulary of exception to characterize and analyze a range of sites, particularly in the context of the post-9/11 “war on terror” but also in relation to global geopolitics and migration more generally. Parallel discussions within geography have focused on the processual and socially differentiated nature of exception and the extent that spaces of exception cannot be separated from broader spatialities of exception. The increasing normalization and varying temporal dynamics of spaces/spatialities of exception indicate their pervasive presence in contemporary biopolitical governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of human geography
EditorsAudrey Kobayashi
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022962
ISBN (Print)9780081022955
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Agamben
  • bare life
  • biopolitics
  • camp
  • detention
  • geopolitics
  • migration
  • sovereignty
  • space of exception
  • state of exception
  • territory
  • topology
  • violence


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