University of Oulu

Hidefumi Nishiyama, Geopolitics of disregard: Living a colonial life in Okinawa, Political Geography, Volume 74, 2019, 102042, ISSN 0962-6298,

Geopolitics of disregard : living a colonial life in Okinawa

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Author: Nishiyama, Hidefumi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Geography Research Unit, P.O. Box 3000, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2021-07-06


This article aims to make a contribution to the field of critical geopolitics by exploring two rather underexamined facets of contemporary imperial geopolitics. First, the article suggests that the concept of disregard developed by Stoler can shed new light on everyday life at the margins of imperial geopolitics. Stoler argues that living a colonial life entails acts of disregarding certain forms of violence and injustice without fully accepting the colonial system as a whole. In conjunction with Memmi’s earlier portrait of the colonised, Stoler’s writing helps to understand the complexities and ambivalence that the colonised go through living in and off an empire. Second, the article demonstrates how practices of disregard play out in the (post)colonial and militarised context of Okinawa. Despite its significance in US military mapping, Okinawa remains an understudied site in the field of critical geopolitics. Situating Okinawa in the broader context of imperial geopolitics and its double colonial present, the article explores how islanders come to live their colonial life and make a living whilst disregarding certain colonial conditions.

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Series: Political geography
ISSN: 0962-6298
ISSN-E: 1873-5096
ISSN-L: 0962-6298
Volume: 74
Article number: 102042
DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.102042
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland’s RELATE Centre of Excellence (grant number 307348).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 307348
Detailed Information: 307348 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license