Geography Compass recently published Alex Colucci on “Geographies of capital punishment: New directions and interventions” in the political geography section of the journal. Alex’s timely article reviews existing conditions and possible direction for political-geographical contributions to the literature on capital punishment. The article ought to be of interest not only for political geographers but also for scholars in other disciplines who are interested in geographical perspectives on justice, injustice, and state-sanctioned punishment. The abstract for Alex’s article can be found below, and the full article here.
A thorough analysis of capital punishment from a political–geographical perspective is lacking in the discipline of geography. This is despite the fact that capital punishment overlaps with numerous geographic approaches, concepts, and areas of study. This study serves as a call to geographers to begin considering capital punishment’s wide interaction and interrelation with developed areas of knowledge in the discipline. Specifically, political geographers stand to contribute in novel ways to wider discussions about capital punishment by analyzing executions relative to contemporary work in geography on violent, legal, and carceral spaces. I first introduce the need for geography’s engagement with this pressing issue. Then, I clarify several terms needed to understand this violent practice. A third section highlights several pathways of development in the critical geographies of capital punishment. It is organized around four broad themes—critically mapping capital punishment, bodies in motion, politics of access, and executing the “other”—connecting capital punishment to developing concepts, literatures, and subdisciplines in geography. The final two sections outline an epistemological approach to the geographies of capital punishment and how legal and carceral geographies might contribute.