Articles | Volume 69, issue 3
Geogr. Helv., 69, 157–169, 2014
Geogr. Helv., 69, 157–169, 2014

Standard article 08 Oct 2014

Standard article | 08 Oct 2014

Materialität und Macht im Spiegel der Assemblage-Theorie: Erkundungen am Beispiel der Waldpolitik in Thailand

A. Mattissek1 and T. Wiertz2 A. Mattissek and T. Wiertz
  • 1Institut für Geographie, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
  • 2Institute for Advanced Sustainabilitiy Studies e.V. (IASS), Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Nature and technology are at the core of many ongoing social transformations and political struggles. While constructivist approaches in general and poststructuralist theories in particular point to the discursive negotiation of materiality, they have so far failed to adequately account for its constitutive role in stabilizing and destabilizing social relations. We argue that theories based on a "flat ontology" offer a way to re-materialize social theory while keeping the sensitivity to power-knowledge relations that poststructuralist theories have developed. Drawing on the work of Deleuze and Guattari and recent discussions on Assemblage Theory in Human Geography, we sketch out a theoretical framework that conceptualizes the relations between symbolic and material entities in a non-deterministic way. Using the example of recent shifts in forest politics in Thailand under the influence of climate change policies, we discuss some of the empirical aspects that can be analyzed with the help of Assemblage Theory.