Urban Boomerangs:
Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’
Stephen Graham
Newcastle University
Foucault’s ‘Boomerang Effects’
•  “While colonization, with its techniques and its political and
juridical weapons, obviou...
1 (Anti) Urban Imaginaries for the ‘Long War’: (LIC, 4GW, NCW)
Both Heartland’s central cities and ‘feral’ cities on colon...
2. New Security Architectures: Passage-Point Urbanism
3. A “Society of Captives’: The Global War Prison
“Having been deployed for the purpose of colonizing the U.S.’s racialize...
4. Anticipatory Targeting,
Tracking and ‘Information War’
“Parallel introduction of antiimmigration and anti-terrorist
int...
•  “The truth of the continual targeting of the world as the fundamental form of knowledge
production is xenophobia, the i...
Global Homelands
Sentient Cities: Calculative Backgrounds and ‘Imperial Infrastructure’
5. Militarised (Auto) Control Societies
Capsules for the Urban Borderlands
6. The Simulation-Military-Security Complex
“Could gamers become decorated war
heroes by virtue of their eye-and-hand
coordination skills, which would eventually
domi...
7. Political Violence and Urban Infrastructure
8. Counter-Geographies
“The […] separation of colony from metropolis, the systematic occultation of the colonial labour
on...
Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’
Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’
Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’
Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’
Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’
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Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’

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Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’

  1. 1. Urban Boomerangs: Critical Geopolitics and the ‘Long War’ Stephen Graham Newcastle University
  2. 2. Foucault’s ‘Boomerang Effects’ •  “While colonization, with its techniques and its political and juridical weapons, obviously transported European models to other continents, it also had a considerable boomerang effect on the mechanisms of power in the West, and on the apparatuses, institutions, and techniques of power. A whole series of colonial models was brought back to the West, and the result was that the West could practice something resembling colonization, or an internal colonialism, on itself” –  Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-6, London: Allen Lane, 2003, pp. 103
  3. 3. 1 (Anti) Urban Imaginaries for the ‘Long War’: (LIC, 4GW, NCW) Both Heartland’s central cities and ‘feral’ cities on colonial frontier "chaotic, ruined, and repellent, the exact inverse of the orderly domestic idyll of the suburbs."Steve Macek, 2006
  4. 4. 2. New Security Architectures: Passage-Point Urbanism
  5. 5. 3. A “Society of Captives’: The Global War Prison “Having been deployed for the purpose of colonizing the U.S.’s racialized interior and refined by the prison industrial complex, the techniques of carcerality and torture are now being systematically redeployed abroad by the U.S. military and outsourced mercenary regime to colonize its racialized populations overseas.” Brady Thomas Heiner (2007)
  6. 6. 4. Anticipatory Targeting, Tracking and ‘Information War’ “Parallel introduction of antiimmigration and anti-terrorist integrated information systems is likely to become yet another example of a technology developed to deal with a typically Orientalised "Other"—the "terrorist", the focus of a gaze obsessed with security, racial profiling, and alien infiltration— which is eventually brought within this side of the colonial equation, adding to the available technologies of social control” Lorenzo Veracini, (2005)
  7. 7. •  “The truth of the continual targeting of the world as the fundamental form of knowledge production is xenophobia, the inability to handle the otherness of the other beyond the orbit that is the bomber’s own visual path. For the xenophobe, every effort needs to be made to sustain and secure this orbit – that is, by keeping the place of the other-as-target always filled.” •  Rey Chow
  8. 8. Global Homelands
  9. 9. Sentient Cities: Calculative Backgrounds and ‘Imperial Infrastructure’
  10. 10. 5. Militarised (Auto) Control Societies
  11. 11. Capsules for the Urban Borderlands
  12. 12. 6. The Simulation-Military-Security Complex
  13. 13. “Could gamers become decorated war heroes by virtue of their eye-and-hand coordination skills, which would eventually dominate the triggers of network-centric remote controlled warfare? Taking this notion to the extreme, could casual assemblages of home bodies on couches strewn across America become the new command posts for an intercontinental sprawl of robotic warfare?” Finoki •  Latest Predator controls use the same HOTAS [hands on stick and throttle] system on a video game.
  14. 14. 7. Political Violence and Urban Infrastructure
  15. 15. 8. Counter-Geographies “The […] separation of colony from metropolis, the systematic occultation of the colonial labour on which imperial prosperity is based, results in a situation in which […] the truth of metropolitan existence is not visible in the metropolis itself” Fredric Jameson,, 2003
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