In a new book on Mapping and Politics in the Digital Age, Doug Specht and Anna Feigenbaum discuss the way in which mapping projects have tried to escape their colonial past in their chapter ‘From the Cartographic Gaze to Contestatory Cartographies’.
The book in full discusses how maps have been a powerful tool in the constitutive imaginary of governments seeking to define or contest the limits of their political reach. And how today, new digital technologies have become central to mapping as a way of formulating alternative political visions. Mapping can also help marginalised communities to construct speculative designs using participatory practices. Mapping and Politics in the Digital Age explores how the development of new digital technologies and mapping practices are transforming global politics, power, and cooperation.
The book brings together authors from across political and social theory, geography, media studies and anthropology to explore mapping and politics across three sections. Contestations introduces the reader to contemporary developments within mapping and explores the politics of mapping as a form of knowledge and contestation. Governance analyses mapping as a set of institutional practices, providing key methodological frames for understanding global governance in the realms of urban politics, refugee control, health crises and humanitarian interventions and new techniques of biometric regulation and autonomic computation. Imaginaries provides examples of future-oriented analytical frameworks, highlighting the transformation of mapping in an age of digital technologies of control and regulation. In a world conceived as without borders and fixed relations, new forms of mapping stress the need to rethink assumptions of power and knowledge.
This book provides a sophisticated and nuanced analysis of the role of mapping in contemporary global governance, and will be of interest to students and researchers working within politics, geography, sociology, media, and digital culture and technology.