Extreme geographies: a response from a dependent semi-periphery of the post-neoliberal Europe
We live in a time of paranoid borderism, a time of intense paranoia of the Other, and a time where the privileging of the nation state as the symbolic container of space, our territory, seems to have made a lurid return to the European continent. The consequences of this socio-spatial ordering and othering, the legacy of Euclidian thinking, and Cartesian models of knowing the world, can become an extreme geography: a form of cartographic cleansing that seriously needs to be addressed. In this short response to the Fennia Lecture given by Professor Henk van Houtum on Extreme Geographies, I offer a report from a region that has become a dependent semi-periphery of the new largely neoliberal Europe that emerged post-1989: a new Europe that is now entering a post-neoliberal era and is becoming increasingly neofascist. I draw from this region as a warning from history, and argue that the hopeful politics of the New Left in the former Yugoslavia provide an answer. The New Left, as it has been termed, in the Post-Yugoslav space, articulates the need for a new radically democratic European project: a project that is no longer neoliberal, but equally a project that does not turn to a nostalgic nationalism, a neofascism, or indeed any other form of authoritarian capitalism.
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