Interventions on the politics of governing the “ungovernable”

Fouad Gehad Marei, Mona Atia, Lisa Bhungalia, Omar Dewachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This intervention seeks to challenge the notion that ungovernable people and places are aberrations to theorizations of governance. By spatializing and grounding theory through ethnographic, multi-sited and actor-focused inquiry, we investigate the techniques and practices of governing territories and people that are deployed in four sites in the Middle East and North Africa. We highlight the impact of colonial and imperial interventions on regimes of governance and rule and posit that the designation of “ungovernable” is itself an instrument of rule and that the designation enables the exercise of exceptional power. Through the context of terror, urbanity, poverty and war, we analyze the toolkit of innovations and interventions deployed to govern the “ungovernable”. We posit that ungovernability is an integral constitutive element of regimes of governing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages20
JournalPolitical Geography
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Marei, Fouad G., et al. 2018. “Interventions on the Politics of Governing the “Ungovernable””, Political Geography, 67, pp. 176 – 186.


  • Governance
  • Postcolonial
  • Intervention
  • Middle East
  • War
  • Terrorism
  • Poverty
  • Reconstruction
  • Biopolitics
  • Governmentality
  • Urbanity


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