Project title: Geographies of the Post-military city
Director of Studies: Dr Matthew F. Rech
2nd Supervisor: Professor Richard Yarwood
Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2018.
This PhD will explore the concept of post-military space in light of recent changes to the UK Armed Forces estate, specifically those related to military base transitions. Advancing Martin Shaw’s work on post-military society, the concept of post-military space focuses on how transition in armed forces institutions, including in their presences and activities, impact on people and places.
A geography of the UK’s post-military spaces is important for two reasons. First, there has been a significant restructuring of the UK’s Armed Forces in recent years in terms of mission, personnel numbers and their use and occupation of a variety of spaces. In general, this has followed a pattern of decline, with the planned closure of 56 MoD sites before 2040. There is pressing need therefore to trace these changes as they shape human geographies at a range of scales.
Second, a key feature of contemporary militarized societies is the dissolved distinction between spaces/practices/effects of ‘civilian’ social and economic activity (i.e. business, education, politics) and state-sanctioned, military activities. Post military spaces and transitions are useful opportunities, therefore, to explore the interdependence of ‘civilian’ society, economy and culture and the UK defence estate. This will demonstrate that, far from being distinct from them, military bases transition with and alongside their wider communities.
The project reflects the strategic goals of the Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CeRES), and in particular its focus on Society, Culture and Mobility, which has a growing record of research into issues of militarism, space and society.