In his Hettner-lecture, Michael Watts asserted that violence might be understood as ´struggle over geography´. Surprisingly, geography is largely missing in the contemporary debates on the incidence of civil wars, the dynamics of war economies and "new" wars. These debates have produced universalistic, nomothetical statements about the causes and dynamics of contemporary war economies and have focused on analyzing the economic incentives of combatants and fighters, thereby neglecting the spatial contextualities and institutional ambiguities of war economies. In this paper, we suggest to bring geography back in focus and develop a conceptual framework that studies geographies of violence using three analytical concepts: governable spaces, spaces of agency and subjectivities. These categories are linked with the politics of scale. We illustrate this framework with examples from the Sri Lankan and Sierra Leonean civil wars. Our studies suggest that geographies of violence produce complex entanglements of survival and war economies that are manifested in the spatio-temporal dynamics of different actors´ vulnerabilities and agencies.