Interventions on the politics of governing the “ungovernable”

Fouad Gehad Marei, Mona Atia, Lisa Bhungalia, Omar Dewachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This intervention seeks to challenge the notion that ungovernable people and places are aberrations to theorizations of governance. By spatializing and grounding theory through ethnographic, multi-sited and actor-focused inquiry, we investigate the techniques and practices of governing territories and people that are deployed in four sites in the Middle East and North Africa. We highlight the impact of colonial and imperial interventions on regimes of governance and rule and posit that the designation of “ungovernable” is itself an instrument of rule and that the designation enables the exercise of exceptional power. Through the context of terror, urbanity, poverty and war, we analyze the toolkit of innovations and interventions deployed to govern the “ungovernable”. We posit that ungovernability is an integral constitutive element of regimes of governing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
JournalPolitical Geography
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Biopolitics
  • Governance
  • Governmentality
  • Intervention
  • Middle east
  • Postcolonial
  • Poverty
  • Reconstruction
  • Terrorism
  • Urbanity
  • War

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