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Between the minor and the intimate: encountering the authoritarian (extra)ordinary in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine


Wolfe, Sven Daniel (2023). Between the minor and the intimate: encountering the authoritarian (extra)ordinary in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Geopolitics, 28(2):820-845.

Abstract

Through an investigation of authoritarian encounters in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, this paper takes seriously the challenges of making geopolitical sense of contextualised micro moments. Working in a minor key, the paper offers three contributions. First, it advances a minor theory, micropolitical sensibility that interrogates the co-constitution of intimate and geopolitical scales. Second, it proposes a loose ethnographic framework to guide the analysis of ordinary moments, link them outside of the immediate, and make fuller sense of the geopolitical: rupture, digestion, connection, and representation. Third, it aspires to destabilise regional container thinking and Orientalising tendencies through a focus on authoritarian practices rather than authoritarian states. Overall, the paper foregrounds a minoritarian reading of the micro-dynamics of authoritarian encounter in order to enrich the conversation on the constitution of the geopolitical, while also offering an intimate and interconnected methodology that encourages critical, safe, and ethical research under authoritarian conditions.

Abstract

Through an investigation of authoritarian encounters in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, this paper takes seriously the challenges of making geopolitical sense of contextualised micro moments. Working in a minor key, the paper offers three contributions. First, it advances a minor theory, micropolitical sensibility that interrogates the co-constitution of intimate and geopolitical scales. Second, it proposes a loose ethnographic framework to guide the analysis of ordinary moments, link them outside of the immediate, and make fuller sense of the geopolitical: rupture, digestion, connection, and representation. Third, it aspires to destabilise regional container thinking and Orientalising tendencies through a focus on authoritarian practices rather than authoritarian states. Overall, the paper foregrounds a minoritarian reading of the micro-dynamics of authoritarian encounter in order to enrich the conversation on the constitution of the geopolitical, while also offering an intimate and interconnected methodology that encourages critical, safe, and ethical research under authoritarian conditions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations, Geography, Planning and Development
Language:English
Date:15 March 2023
Deposited On:16 Feb 2023 08:50
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:43
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1465-0045
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2021.1988930