TERRITORY AND THE GOVERNMENTALISATION OF SOCIAL REPRODUCTION: PARLIAMENTARY ENCLOSURE AND SPATIAL RATIONALITIES IN THE TRANSITION FROM FEUDALISM TO CAPITALISM

Alvaro Sevilla-Buitrago, “Territory and the governmentalisation of social reproduction: parliamentary enclosure and spatial rationalities in the transition from feudalism to capitalism,” Journal of Historical Geography 38, 3, 2012, 209–219.

This article studies the classic period of parliamentary enclosure in England to show how territory and territoriality acquired a strategic role in the regulation of processes of social reproduction, containing but also going beyond traditional understandings of land and property as ends in themselves. Articulating a Marxist and a Foucauldian perspective, the piece compares the autonomous, self-managed spatialities of the commons to the new regime of dependent, disciplined social reproduction triggered by enclosure. Dispossession —of material resources, social institutions and community representations— thus appears as a foundational moment of capitalist territorialization, an element intrinsic to large-scale reorganizations of the rural world for the creation of broader markets and geographies of extraction, according to the dictate of budding industrial cities.

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