A materialization of powers, case study on the spatial dimension of the former military base at Potocari, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1994-1995 and 2018
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Conflict analysis is often focused on the socio-economic/cultural dimension of the territorial dimension. New materialist scholars argue that power relations are at work within space. The spatial dimension of conflict can thus be understood as a materialization of power. Within this thesis, this hypothesis is examined by analyzing the spatial dimension of the former military base at Potočari, Bosnia Herzegovina. The theoretical framework that is used to examine this, is based upon an integration of new materialist insights and a ‘framework of multiple spatialities of contentious politics’. The spatial dimension is analyzed in relation to the proposed different dimension of space: the politics of mobility, network, place, position, scale and time. These different dimensions of space are understood as being co-constructive. Based upon the analysis it concludes that within the spatial dimension different power relations are at work. This reinforces mechanisms of in- and exclusion through the interaction between the human and the non-human.. The spatial dimension is actively propagating these mechanisms, but can also be manipulated into a political tool. At this point the spatial dimension contributes to the divide between different social identities, as gender and ethnicity. However, the analysis and incorporation of the spatial dimension as active, opens up room for a politics of possibilities, which could be used to enable different actors to come closer to each other.