Hotel Geopolitics: A Research Agenda

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This article sets a new agenda for research into the geopolitics of hotels. Moving beyond the study of hotels as neutral sites of leisure and tourism, hospitality mediated by financial exchange, we argue that hotels need to be researched as geopolitical sites. Hotel spaces – from conference rooms to reception halls, from hotel bars to corridors and private rooms – are connected to broader architectures of security and insecurity, war- and peacemaking. We present six themes for this research agenda: hotels as projections of soft power, soft targets for political violence, strategic infrastructures in conflict, hosts for war reporters, providers of emergency hospitality and care, and infrastructures of peace-building. We conclude that the geopolitical potential of hotels emerges from two spatial dimensions of the relation of hospitality: hotels’ selective openness and closure to their surroundings, and their flexible material infrastructures that can facilitate and mediate geopolitical processes. Research on geopolitics, and its engagements with the everyday materialities that shape war and peace, must take seriously the hotel as a geopolitical space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-813
Issue number4
Early online date12 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Geopolitics
  • Hotels
  • War
  • Peace


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