Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The concept of illegality explored in this chapter is rooted in the discursive figure of the “illegal alien”, the product of material and ideological processes situated at the intersection of state territoriality, nationalism, capital accumulation, and racism. This figure is part of a larger constellation constituted by the binary of legality and illegality, one that Heyman and Smart argue is fundamental to liberal democratic state power, and the author would add racialised state power. Radical geographers invoke the concept of illegality critically, rejecting the normalised denial of fundamental civic and human rights based on presumptions of spatial transgression, racial hierarchy, class position, criminality, etc. Radical and critical geographers must continue their efforts to undermine these taken-for-granted categories and narratives, and mobilise empirical evidence to support the work of social organisations and movements challenging the ideological and material architectures of illegality across time and space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKeywords in Radical Geography
Subtitle of host publicationAntipode at 50
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781119558071
ISBN (Print)9781119558156
StatePublished - Mar 7 2019


  • Capital accumulation
  • Illegality
  • Nationalism
  • Racism
  • Radical geographers
  • Social organisations
  • State territoriality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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