We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Geopolitical Mapping: Redux

Special Issue

We invite contributions to a special issue of the Journal of Maps focused upon a critical and creative re-thinking of cartography’s relation to geopolitics. Whilst broadening the ambit of ‘what counts’ as mapping, and likewise of ‘what counts’ as geopolitics, the special issue seeks contributions that generate cartographic interventions, and that do so across a range of disciplines and non-academic fields, not least in cultural geography, spatial modelling, international relations, art, and philosophy.

Get in Touch Submit your Work

Journal of Maps

A journal dedicated to the publication and dissemination of bespoke maps and spatial diagrams

Language: en-US

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Visit Journal Articles

Purpose and Rationale

The purpose of this special issue is twofold. Firstly, it seeks to interrogate and examine the ambivalent interrelations between mapping and geopolitics. Secondly, it aims – through cartography – to examine what constitutes the ‘geo’ in geopolitics. Cartography’s historic and contemporary imbrication in geopolitics is well-rehearsed, particularly with regard to its colonising logics of violent territorialisation around the world. To that end it is something of a truism to assert that the practice of mapping is not one of representation, but one of invention and intervention. Maps help compose, transform and destroy worlds. Maps, in short, are themselves geopolitical, and productive of many a genre of geopolitics.

However, of what the ‘geo’ in geopolitics is composed is open, uncertain and ambiguous.

Delimiting geopolitics to a disciplinary interest in internal relations and global statecraft ignores the complex relations – social, geographical, embodied, political, ineffable – that fold into the production of the ‘geo’. Moreover, given the ubiquity of everyday spatialising technologies, geo-computation, and a concomitant growth in forms of mapping centred and customised around the user, the special issue aims to examine the ways in which cartography – as both art and science – can be geopolitical in multiple registers of thought and practice.


Without constraining the range of topics that are potentially suitable for inclusion in the special issue, we offer the following as examples:

  • Geopolitical futures and anticipatory geopolitics
  • Popular geopolitics and everyday geopolitics
  • Aesthetics, mapping and geopolitics
  • Mapping the geopolitical event
  • Community and citizen geopolitics; vernacular mapping
  • Agonistic geopolitics
  • Affective and virtual cartographies
  • Post-geopolitical cartographies
  • Minor and minoritarian mapping; minor and micropolitical geopolitics

Artistic media includes anything that can be reasonably explained or presented within the journal. Cartographic and mapping products in this instance. Ideally the work will involve cross-disciplinary collaborations.  


All papers are expected to consist of a map or series of maps (loosely and broadly defined to include various forms of spatial representation) accompanied by a brief explanatory text. Papers should be bespoke, and the mapping of good quality. All papers in this special issue will be peer reviewed. To submit a paper, authors should do the following:

  1. Email a short draft (500-word limit) to the editors outlining the key themes and scope of the paper, where possible including example mapping, by Friday 1st March 2019.

Abstract selection will be by the special issue editorial team. You will receive a notification by Friday 29th March 2019.

  1. Submit a completed paper (4000-word limit) by Sunday 8th September 2019.
  2. The special issue will be published in 2020.

The special issue editorial team are happy to discuss ideas for papers and their suitability with potential contributors prior to the short draft submission stage. Please email Joe Gerlach (joe.gerlach@bristol.ac.uk) or Mike Smith (editor@journalofmaps.com) in the first instance.

All submissions should be made via the Journal of Maps website (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tjom20/current) where further guidance on all aspects of submission can be found.

Please note the journal is open access, with an article processing charge of £500.

Joe Gerlach, University of Bristol, UK