Bio and research

I am a political and legal geographer, with a longstanding interest in political economy.

My research to date has focused on domestic policing as a neglected aspect of U.S. statecraft, on geopolitics as practice rather than policy, and more generally on the need to rethink geopolitics topologically beyond the conventional foreign policy/domestic policy divide. I am interested in the persistence of state power in the world economy, as well as the ongoing importance of statecraft to world geopolitics. However, whereas much scholarship approaches state power as an abstract and relatively coherent act of territoriality (i.e. way of viewing and then organizing space), my interest lies with it as 1) a polyvalent bundle of sometimes countervailing projects with different institutional trajectories, 2) a practice which implicates any number of everyday spaces and contexts, typically neglected in macro-scale analyses of the state and 3) a series of dispersed practices which play out unevenly across space and which produce places differently.

A major theme in my research concerns the need to ground complex theory in grounded fieldwork.

My theoretical interests have been shaped by the past decade of scholarship on the problem of topology.

I am editor, along with Dr. Sapana Doshi ( of the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series at the University of Georgia Press ( and I am an editorial board member for the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Political Geography, Southeastern Geographer, and Geography Compass.


2005 | Ph.D. Geography, Department of Geography, University of California at Los Angeles

1999 | M.A. Political Economy, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University

1997 | B.A. Hons. Political Science, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

1996 | B.A. Political Science, École d’Etudes Politiques, Université d’Ottawa


2012 – present | Associate Professor, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University

May – June 2013 | Visiting Distinguished Professor, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University

2005 – 2012 | Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University

Research Areas

Theories of power and space in human geography

Site, geontology and practice

Topology and topography

Law and geography

Immigration law and enforcement

Detention and deportation

Racial profiling

U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border studies

Urban geography and policing

Sheriffing and national security

Energy geopolitics, oil boom and bust

Critical geopolitics



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