The postwar condition – the period where war is over yet the socio-political ordering of any given postwar entity remains contested and an unchallenged peace has still to be reached – is inherently spatial. This spatiality, however, has yet be fully addressed in theoretical and analytical terms, meaning that we neither understand it in its entirety nor have the tools with which to explore it thoroughly. This gap in existing research – found in both peace research and political geography – is the focus of this paper as I ask: how can the spatiality of the postwar condition be understood and studied? Using the concept of ‘relational space’ (Massey 2005, p. 61), I argue that the postwar condition is relational in its spatiality and that it should be studied through its material, perceived, and lived dimensions. The relational spatiality of the postwar condition means that the postwar society both produces and is produced by the postwar spaces in which it happens, in a ‘socio-spatial dialectic’ where the two are mutually constitutive (Soja 2010, p. 4). This paper thereby contributes to the “spatial turn” in peace research by theorising more thoroughly the postwar condition as relational in its spatiality as well as by developing an analytical framework able to explore this spatiality. It also brings the “peace turn” in political geography closer to peace research by suggesting how it can advance the research front on the spatiality of the postwar condition. It finally generates much needed insights on space in the postwar city of Mitrovica (Kosovo).
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)