This is the substack of Andrew Stokols, Phd student in urban studies at MIT researching the intersection of urban planning and infrastructure, state power, and geopolitics, mostly focused on East and Southeast Asia. This newsletter attempts to account for the interconnection between urban infrastructure and state strategies, seen clearly in China’s “One Belt One Road” as well as other state-led infrastructure projects in a variety of countries. New forms of state and corporate power must be seen in tandem with increasing turn to data extraction as an economic generator, which is prefaced on specific forms of city building that hardwire such systems into place.

The name “Space Between” suggests both a focus on urban space, but also the latent meanings, logics, and dimensions at work amidst physical forms of the built environment.

As Foucault wrote in 1980:

“A whole history remains to be written of spaces—which would at the same time be the history of powers—from the great strategies of geopolitics to the little tactics of the habitat”1

The “Space Between” also suggests looking for gray areas, gaps, contradictions in issues that don’t fit into clear binary narratives.

To that end, I am also interested in debates around culture, identity, and politics and trying to explore the deeper roots and contradictions of contentious culture wars of our current identity-obsessed era.

and yes, for all you nostalgic 90s/early 2000s kids out there, “Space Between” is also a great Dave Matthews song…

and, no I didn’t plan that coincidence, it just turned out that way.

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1

Foucault, Michel. 1980. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977. 1st American ed. New York: Pantheon Books.