Law, spatial tactics and marginality

Special session organizers: Nicholas Blomley and William Damon (SFU Geography)

Papers are invited on the theme of law, spatial tactics and marginality. The state has sought to control marginalized and outsider groups in public spaces through the conscious use of territorial delimitations, distinctions and designations. Examples include the banishment or segregation of homeless people or sex workers; the redesign of urban spaces so as to discourage loitering; the designation of ‘free speech’ areas in public protests; area restrictions as part of parole and bail conditions of release; and the use of time/place/manner restrictions controlling panhandling. Spatial tactics appear to have become increasingly widespread and creative, raising troubling issues relating to the rights and basic needs of the public poor.

Questions may include:

  • How are spatial tactics changing?
  • How should scholarship change?
  • What difference does space make to these forms of regulation?
  • What are the effects of spatial tactics?
  • What motivates (punishment, purification, ‘poverty management’) spatial tactics?

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to Will Damon (  by February 15 2015.