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Topological twists in the Syrian conflict: Re-thinking space through bread

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

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Authors

Martinez, Jose Ciro 

Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThis article seeks to question the epistemological monopoly of territory and scale in analyses of the Syrian conflict. It does so to both challenge static conceptualisations of space in the study of politics and analyse how seemingly remote actors influence wartime outcomes. Since 2011, NGOs, government bodies, and merchants have worked to connect Damascus to Tehran, Idlib to Istanbul, London to Dara‘a. These connections have proven crucial to the reliable supply of food, funds, and firepower. Yet rather than reveal the importance of foreign patrons or proxies on the ground, such dynamics speak to a world in which relationships matter more than distance, practices more than geopolitical position orjats:italica priori</jats:italic>forms of alliance. Drawing on the work of John Allen, I suggest why thinking topologically about these dynamics better equips us to understand the political outcomes they help engender. To demonstrate the promise of this approach, I hone in on the partnerships, intermediaries, and connections that shape performances of political authority in Syria by examining one object crucial to its enactment: bread.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

Space, Topologies, Syria, Civil War, Food Politics

Journal Title

REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0260-2105
1469-9044

Volume Title

46

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
Gates Cambridge Scholarship